– Amid a crisis caused by the shortage of gasoline in Mexico and the government’s fight against the theft and adulteration of fuel, the country’s bishops have appealed to the citizenry and called for more truthful and objective information to be given.
Several Mexican states and the country’s capital have been affected by a shortage of gasoline in recent days, with long lines at operating gas stations.
The situation is related to a series of measures taken by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to deal with the theft and adulteration of fuel, which is costing the country around $3 billion a year. The government has shut down pipelines, from which fuel is tapped, using trucks and trains to transport fuel instead.
López Obrador has charged that the fuel theft has occurred with complicity within the government and Pemex, the state-owned oil company.
The shortage,which has produced long lines at gasoline stations in several cities, has caused a controversy among the citizenry and political groups a little more than a month after Lopez Obrador took office as president.
Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López of Monterrey, president of the Mexican bishops’ conference, expressed in a Jan. 13 statement his support for “the measures taken by the president of the Republic to address the problem of the theft of gasoline which has negatively affected our country.”
“I ask citizens to support this measure, asking the authorities to not let themselves be intimidated by actions which, in the past, were common and which caused so much harm, but rather enforce the laws and quickly respond to this situation, hoping that as soon as possible this problem will be resolved,” he said.
Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Morelia, vice president of the conference, encouraged waiting for “adequate information” on Lopez Obrador’s strategy to deal with the theft of gasoline.
“At this time, there are many versions, many interpretations, which I don’t think give us enough specifics to be able to give an opinion. I hope we can have objective information as soon as possible and have an explanation about everything that has happened.”
Garfias expressed his desire that those affected by the shortage will have their dissatisfaction redressed.
In the states where there has been a fuel shortage, he said, “there has been a lot of discontent, a lot of dissatisfaction, and I hope that we will have an adequate explanation.”
However, he noted that “when corruption appears, when there are signs of a lack of truth, when there is deception, when there are lies, it’s always going to be important to have a strategy to be able to find a way to make it clear where is the lie, the corruption, the theft, and that justice be done.”
This article was originally published by ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.