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Mexican official confirms cartel gunmen pressured a dozen tanker vans to dump gasoline at gunpoint

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A Mexican official on Monday confirmed a stunning video that emerged over the weekend of cartel gunmen forcing the drivers of a few dozen tanker vans to dump their total a great deal of gasoline right into a area.

The official, who was not approved to be quoted by title, mentioned the incident occurred final week within the border metropolis of Matamoros, throughout from Brownsville, Texas, and was underneath investigation.

The official mentioned the gunmen had apparently pressured the truck drivers to line their parked autos up on a dust highway to dump their cargo.

Requested concerning the movies, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged “there may be resistance from criminals” within the space, lengthy recognized for cartel violence, including that “We proceed to confront them.”

Within the video, a presumed member of the cartel might be heard mentioning the Gulf cartel faction referred to as The Scorpions, and saying all vans carrying gasoline would undergo the identical destiny except “they get in line,” or pay safety cash to the gang.

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Within the video, open valves on the underside of the tankers may very well be seen spewing gasoline like fireplace hoses, as armed males regarded on.

“That is going to occur to all of the grasshoppers,” a person’s voice might be heard saying, an obvious reference to Mexican gang slang that compares those that “soar” by a cartel’s territory to the hoppy bugs.

Criminals within the border state of Tamaulipas have lengthy drilled into state-owned pipelines to steal gas, however now an much more advanced state of affairs is happening.

Due to cross-border value differentials, it’s typically worthwhile to import gasoline from Texas and promote it in Mexican border cities in Tamaulipas. López Obrador’s administration has lengthy complained that most of the truckers mislabel their cargo to keep away from import tariffs.

Others legally import U.S. gasoline, a follow the Mexican authorities dislikes as a result of it reduces gross sales for the state-owned oil firm.

“We’re there to guard the residents of Tamaulipas, so they do not have to purchase stolen or smuggled gas,” López Obrador mentioned Monday.

However the Gulf drug cartel apparently calls for cash from each authorized importers and people who search to keep away from paying import duties.

One businessman who requested to not be recognized for concern of reprisals mentioned the gang is demanding a cost of $500 per truck even to permit legally imported gasoline by the town of Matamoros, an essential border crossing.

The businessman added that Tamaulipas authorities usually present escorts for tanker vans exactly to forestall such assaults.

It was the newest occasion of lawlessness in Matamoros, the place in March 4 Individuals had been shot at and kidnapped by a drug gang. The Individuals had been discovered days later, two {dead}, one wounded and with out bodily accidents.


Observe AP’s protection of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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