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Good promises make bad policies

Mexico Declares Victory Over Fuel Thieves. But Is It Lasting?

IRAPUATO, Mexico — Soon after taking office in December, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared war on fuel theft, an enduring scourge that had been costing the nation billions of dollars a year.

Thieves had launched a particularly damaging attack, draining 1.5 million gallons of gasoline through a single illegal tap over 10 hours and immediately elevating the issue to the top of the administration’s agenda. But targeting the fuel theft racket as his first major security initiative also appeared to be an astute political move by Mr. López Obrador.

[...] Many observers — here in the state of Guanajuato and elsewhere — believe that the fuel thieves will come back once the government establishes new security priorities and shifts its forces elsewhere.

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