HomeNewsBriefBlacklisted by the US, Mexico Gas Stations Still in Business
BRIEF

Blacklisted by the US, Mexico Gas Stations Still in Business

MEXICO / 23 MAR 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

The United States has blacklisted nearly 20 gas stations in Mexico for their financial ties to organized crime over the last 10 years, yet a significant number are still operating and have franchise agreements with state oil company Pemex.  

Between 2004 and 2014, the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklisted 19 fuel service stations in Mexico for laundering the profits of organized crime groups, reported El Universal. Nine of those companies blacklisted by OFAC are still operating, and have contracts with Pemex, according to El Universal. 

An official from Mexico's Finance Ministry told El Universal that the Financial Intelligence Unit -- the Mexican government body responsible for investigating money laundering -- opens a probe into any company designated by the US Treasury. However, if the standard of evidence of wrongdoing needed to file a report to Mexico's Attorney General's Office, authorities cannot bring legal action against the suspected businesses. 

Among the blacklisted companies, 90 percent are located in either Sinaloa or Jalisco state, according to El Universal. All of the fuel companies still in business are linked to either the Sinaloa Cartel or to drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, a co-founder of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s, who was released from a Mexican prison in August 2013 (see El Universal's graphic below).

Companies blacklisted by the OFAC have their US assets blocked, and are prohibited from doing business with US companies or citizens. 

Pemex graph

InSight Crime Analysis

While a designation by the OFAC freezes a company's assets in the US, this does not prevent it from continuing to run its business in Mexico. Nevertheless, there is still responsibility on Pemex to do a thorough background check on the service stations that operate under their franchise. The fact that nearly half of the gas stations blacklisted by the OFAC since 2004 still have contracts with Pemex suggests the state oil company isn't doing nearly enough when it comes to scrutinizing or controlling its franchises.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

It is hard to see how excluding those service stations blacklisted by the US would not be in Pemex's own best interest, as these front companies are dedicated to laundering profits for the criminal organizations that steal Pemex's product, among other illicit activities. Pemex has taken other dramatic measures to address the problem of oil theft, including announcing that it will stop sending fully refined fuel through the more than 14,000 kilometers of pipeline that cross Mexico. But cleaning up its franchise operations would seem like another obvious move that would help Pemex combat its billion-dollar losses thanks to organized crime. 

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 FEB 2017

Mexico City will have a brand new attraction starting on February 5: the "Corruptour" will bring its passengers in an…

COVID AND CRIME / 30 JUL 2020

Reports that the head of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation constructed a hospital, both for himself and local residents, is…

EL AZUL / 13 DEC 2012

The US Treasury has added one commercial entity and three individuals to the “Kingpin List” for their links to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…