A year ago, 137 people died in the explosion of an oil pipeline near Tlahuelilpan in the center. The Mexican president is on site Saturday to pay tribute to the victims. As early as Friday morning, at a press conference, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador presented a review of his fight against fuel theft, a scourge in Mexico.
A year ago, a regularly siphoned oil pipeline finally broke up. Oil gushes out and floods the surrounding fields. Families from a nearby town, Tlahuelilpan, then rush with cans of gasoline to try to recover the precious fuel, when the explosion occurs around 7 p.m. Dozens of people die instantly, others will die from their injuries.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador describes this tragedy as the saddest he has had to face since the start of his mandate. He who had promised at the time to attack the scourge of fuel theft, agrees that a year later, the result is mixed.
“ There is still fuel theft in Hidalgo State, at the very place where the tragedy took place. It is the state in which there is the most clandestine removal. So it is an appeal to the whole population, to the communities that live near these conduits : the risk is very high ”.
The presence of soldiers every 20 km along oil pipelines has nevertheless allowed, according to the government, to reduce these fuel thefts by 91% in 2019. But 5,000 barrels are still stolen every day. The equivalent of 720,000 euros for the Mexican state.