Should Mexico Follow Colombia’s Example in Combating Fuel Theft?

5/30/2017 InSight Crime

illegal oil taps
Associated Press

Colombia’s finance minister said Mexico should look to the South American country as an example to follow in the fight against fuel theft, but the statement raises questions about how successful Colombia’s approach to the issue has really been.

In an interview with Mexican daily El Universal, Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cárdenas said Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex could learn how to combat fuel theft from its Colombian counterpart, Ecopetrol.

“If you want to, you can do it,” Cárdenas told El Universal. “There’s a very productive and constant dialogue between Pemex and Ecopetrol, with lots of opportunities for joint operations between them.”

Cárdenas said Colombia had substantially reduced fuel theft, depriving criminal organizations of an important revenue stream. He claimed technological advancements helped authorities to detect theft more quickly, and also to build stronger and safer pipelines.

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