Execution Highlights Mexico’s Inability to Combat Rampant Fuel Theft

5/11/2017 InSight Crime

Flickr/Presidencia de la República

Videos that appears to show a soldier executing a presumed oil thief at point blank range in Mexico draws attention to the inability of the government to come up with an effective response to a criminal industry now worth in excess of an estimated $1 billion per year.

Several videos recently published by Diario Cambio and other Mexican news outlets capture deadly confrontations between civilians and soldiers that took place on May 3 in Palmarita, a town in the Mexican state of Puebla. One video shows a military convoy stopping a white pick-up truck. A man is removed from the truck and dragged to the ground, but the soldiers’ attention is diverted by something off screen. The man can be seen getting up before firing several shots; one soldier immediately falls to the ground, apparently dead.

Another video shows a car receiving gunshots as it slowly backs up. The car body and windshield are pockmarked by the impact of the bullets. Soldiers later take several men out the car and place them on the ground. One of the suspects, who looks to be injured, is given the coup de grâce in the back of the head while lying face down on the ground, apparently by one of the soldiers. The end of the footage shows the soldiers taking down the camera that captured the incident.

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