Mexico deploys 2,000 soldiers to fight fuel thieves – Xinhua |

MEXICO CITY, May 5 (Xinhua) — Around 2,000 soldiers have been sent into the central Mexican state of Puebla to help fight organized criminal gangs stealing fuel, Puebla’s governor Antonio Gali announced Friday.

The deployment of soldiers was made following four soldiers were killed and 11 injured in two attacks by the gangs on Wednesday night.

Governor Gali said in a TV interview that 2,000 soldiers were being sent to join a group of 500 already fighting these gangs since February.

“Today, we will be responding with around 2,000 elements arriving there. We must end this fuel robbery,” said the governor when interviewed by the Despierta news show on Televisa.

He revealed that the groups operate in six municipalities in eastern Puebla, namely Amozoc, Tecamachalco, Palmar de Bravo, Atzitzintla, and Quecholac, which are known collectively as the “Red Triangle” for fuel theft.

The thieves have regularly stolen fuel from a pipeline which connects the eastern state of Veracruz with Mexico City.

Gali said that federal and state security forces were looking especially for two men thought to be leading the raids, known as “El Buchanan’s” and “El Tonín.”

Members of a criminal gang carried out two attacks on soldiers on Wednesday night in the village of Palmarito, near Quecholac, in which four soldiers and six criminals were killed.

On Thursday, residents of Palmarito blockaded the highway between the cities of Puebla and Orizaba to protest the operation, in which they alleged an innocent woman was killed.