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New cartel emerges in Mexico targeting pipelines

Mexico City, Mexico — Santa Rosa de Lima is the name of the new cartel engaged in the theft of fuel in Mexico and in recent days, has also caused a series of crashes and fires on roads in the central state of Guanajuato.

This criminal organization made their presence known in October of 2018 through a video broadcast on social networks that shows dozens of men in military-style uniforms with their faces covered, carrying weapons.

One of the men in the video says that they are representatives of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, which is the name of a community belonging to the state of Guanajuato, an area cataloged as a red center to the high incidence of fuel theft.

According to prosecution reports, this new criminal organization has already expanded throughout the state and even in parts of the neighboring states of Querétaro and Michoacán.

The secretary of the navy, Rafael Ojeda, says that despite the fact, since the beginning of the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, authorities have refused to identify the so-called huachicoleros as a criminal organization.

During a press conference Wednesday, Ojeda referred to the cartel when he spoke about an operation carried out last Tuesday against the theft of fuel in Guanajuato where villagers from the municipality of San Salvador Torrecillas carried out roadblocks and burned vehicles to avoid police and military.

The head of the navy said that they identified that the criminal organization had summoned its “members” to collect stolen hydrocarbons in an area known as El Hoyo, where around 40 pipes were concentrated. However, when elements of the army and navy tried to approach the area, the blockades and fires began.

Authorities still managed to access the area and seize 11 pipes, 14 trucks with containers for fuel and eight vehicles already loaded with fuel. Lopez Obrador said that there were no arrests, but investigations are continuing.