You can read 9 more articles this month
THE death toll from Friday’s catastrophic conflagration at a tapped pipeline in Mexico reached 79 yesterday, with another 81 hospitalised.
State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said the pipeline, which supplies much of central Mexico with fuel, had just reopened after being shut since December 23, having been breached 10 times over three months.
Once again thieves breached it on Friday and petrol was gushing 20 feet in the air as locals gathered to scoop up free oil.
But it ignited and caused a conflagration that burned people to cinders. Locals searching for relatives found heaps of corpses, most with all their skin burnt off. Dozens had been burned down to the bone or even ash.
The tragedy came just three weeks after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Amlo) launched an offensive against fuel-theft gangs who had drilled dangerous illegal taps into pipelines an astounding 12,581 times in the first 10 months of 2018, an average of about 42 per day.
The crackdown has led to widespread fuel shortages at gas stations throughout the country as Pemex altered distribution, both legal and illicit. The shortages at stations was one reason hundreds had flocked to the field in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, looking for petrol.
Amlo pledged yesterday to continue the fight against a practice that steals about $3 billion (£2.3bn) worth of fuel each year.
“Mexico needs to end corruption,” he said. “This is not negotiable.”
He said he would offer financial aid to communities along pipelines that have become somewhat dependent on income from fuel theft rings.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.