HomeNewsAnalysisInSight Map: Oil Pipeline Theft in Mexico
ANALYSIS

InSight Map: Oil Pipeline Theft in Mexico

INFOGRAPHICS / 20 DEC 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Thieves tapping into an oil pipeline caused a huge explosion Sunday that killed at least 28 people in San Martin Texmelucan, Puebla. This is the latest and most dramatic incident of petroleum theft in Mexico: the state-owned oil company, Pemex, estimates that it loses about $1 billion per year to illegal tapping. 

There is also growing evidence that organized criminal groups, particularly the Zetas, are involved in siphoning oil for profit, as well as extorting and kidnapping Pemex workers.

InSight developed a map showing where Mexican authorities reported illegal tapping on Pemex oil and gas pipelines within the last six months. According to Pemex, a total of 550 cases have been registered nationwide so far this year. This is already higher than the 439 cases last year.

One trend appears to be greater activity in Tamaulipas, where the Zetas are most active, especially the Cadereyta-Reynosa-Matamoros gas pipeline. Home to Mexico's biggest fields of natural gas, this region is also a battleground between the Zetas and its former collaborators, the Gulf cartel. By expanding their criminal portfolio to include contraband gas and petroleum, the Zetas may be seeking a much needed financial edge over their rivals.

In 2009, Pemex reported that Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, and the state of Mexico saw the most cases of illegal tapping. It looks as though oil theft remains common in these regions.

Pemex has also faced accusations that high-ranking officials have worked alongside the Zetas in stealing the petroleum for profit. One former Pemex employee, Francisco Guizar Pavon, was arrested in June, accused of stealing oil in collusion with the Zetas. Internal corruption could also explain the prevalence of theft in certain areas.


View Dec 19 - PEMEX map in a larger map

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 31 DEC 2021

Prediction of the criminal dynamics for 2022 is even harder than most years, as it involves predicting the march of…

COCAINE / 16 SEP 2021

South Korean authorities have arrested a drug trafficker suspected of importing up to a ton of methamphetamine from Mexico for…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 27 JUL 2022

Jamaican fishers, largely ungoverned, are taking what they can from the country’s waters, while foreign vessels poach lobster and conch.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…