Foxes Guarding the Henhouse: Mexico Fuel Guards Complicit in Theft Crisis

Mexican general and PEMEX security official Eduardo Leon Trauwitz is under investigation for his role in fuel theft. (image via El Sol de Mexico)



In a sign of the broadening scope of the rampant theft of fuel in Mexico, security personnel tasked with guarding the country’s gasoline distribution networks have also been investigated for the looting of fuel.

As the new Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador scrambles to address the growing fuel crisis, authorities have moved against the wide-scale networks of criminal organizations, corrupt politicians and businessmen complicit in the theft of fuel from Mexico’s state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX).

In January 2019, Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) issued a list of blocked individuals and companies implicated in fuel theft, including Eduardo Leon Trauwitz, a Mexican Armed Forces general who served as an official in PEMEX’s Strategic Safeguard Sub-Directorate.

Leon Trauwitz owns a Mexico City-based company with Gabriel Pacelli Iturbide Munoz, another target of the FIU’s investigation into fuel theft.

Mexican authorities are also investigating at least three other Mexican armed forces generals who held posts with PEMEX’s security branch.

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