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Cartel Oil Theft Leads to Deadly Explosion: Cocaine & Crude (Part 3)

Written by Mark

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Suroosh Alvi visits Texmelucan, a city devastated by an illegal oil tap explosion in 2010.

Mexico’s notoriously violent drug cartels are diversifying. Besides trafficking narcotics, extorting businesses, and brutally murdering their rivals, cartels are now at work exploiting their country’s precious number one export: oil.

Every day as many as 10,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen from Mexico’s state-run oil company, Pemex, through precarious illegal taps, which are prone to deadly accidents. Pemex estimates that it loses $5 billion annually in stolen oil, some of which ends up being sold over the border in US gas stations. As police fight the thieves, and the cartels fight each other, the number of victims caught in the battle for the pipelines continues to climb.

VICE News sent Suroosh Alvi to Mexico to see the effects of cartel oil theft firsthand.

Follow Suroosh Alvi on Twitter: @SurooshAlvi

Watch “Bomb Trains: The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail: http://bit.ly/1k5C8YM

Part 1: http://bit.ly/1nRvExR
Part 2: http://bit.ly/1oeGurQ

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Mark

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