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Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2017-08-23

Oil theft: A multi-billion dollar business fuels Mexican cartels

Mexico´s notorious drug cartels have thrived off drug trafficking, the arms trade and kidnapping as lucrative sources of revenue for years. But now, more and more cartels are setting their sights on stealing government-owned fuel. In the state of Puebla, cartels have gone as far as bribing farmers into uncovering pipelines in order to siphon off refined oil and sell it for big profit.

The spike in prices at the beginning of this year has made stealing fuel more lucrative than ever in the eyes of criminal groups. Mexican authorities registered 200 cases of oil theft in 2012. In the last three months alone, that figure has jumped to more than 2,600. The losses for Mexico´s state oil giant, Pemex, have been enormous, costing the company almost 2.4 billion US dollars since 2010. Our team sent this report from Puebla, where authorities are desperately trying to get a grip on the problem. Report by Laurence Cuvillier, Matthieu Comin and Edmundo Velazquez

A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Elom Marcel Toble.

By Matthieu COMIN , Laurence CUVILLIER

Our guests


Latin American Director, Greenmantle Consultancy


2017-09-22 Germany

'Generation Merkel' yearns for continuity and stability

It's common for young people to vote against the status quo in elections. But that's not the case in Germany. The so-called "Merkel Generation" have only known one German...

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2017-09-21 Burma

Rohingya crisis: Monks with an ultranationalist agenda

During Burma's half a century of military dictatorship, the country's Buddhist monks became one of the main pillars of non-violent protest against the junta. But in the last few...

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2017-09-20 Asia-pacific

Are universities in Pakistan becoming a breeding ground for terrorism?

In recent years in Pakistan, a growing number of students from prestigious institutions have taken part in terrorist attacks. Unlike students from madrassas, which are under...

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2017-09-19 Americas

Rio mired in economic crisis a year after hosting Olympics

A state of "financial calamity" was declared in Rio de Janeiro just before it hosted the August 2016 Olympic Games. Salaries for public servants went unpaid and funding was...

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2017-09-18 Asia-pacific

Rohingyas crowd into makeshift camps in Bangladesh after fleeing Burma

On the border between Burma and Bangladesh, the exodus of Rohingya people continues. In less than a month, more than 400,000 of them have crossed the border into neighbouring...

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