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Focus on Fuel Thefts and Cartels

Seeking Revenue, Cartels Turn On the Fuel Tap

Before the mid-2010s, Mexican cartels significantly relied on the production, refinement, transportation, or sale of illegal narcotics as a major source of revenue. But between the onset of the government’s war on drugs, a U.S. customer base that was exponentially turning toward synthetic opioids, and more nations either legalizing or decriminalizing some narcotics, drugs were becoming less profitable as a single-stream earner for a criminal enterprise, forcing cartels to look elsewhere. They turned to fuel pipelines.