10 July 2007

Guerrilla group sabotages pipelines

The Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) claimed responsibility for two pipeline attacks near Salamanca and Celeya in Guanajuato state that cut the supply of natural gas into the Guadalajara area. Another attack in Queretaro happened earlier today.

EPR, reportedly a group that was active in southern Mexico in the 1990s, demanded that Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz and President Felipe Calderon release two members detained on May 25 in Oaxaca. The group promised that the attacks would continue until their demands are met.

Ulises Ruiz's resignation is long overdue, but groups like EPR hurt that cause with these attacks. Perhaps the Oaxaca conflict will blow up again, deepening the misery for the beleaguered residents being hurt by a lack of tourism.

Meanwhile, the pipeline explosion shut down many factories in Guadalajara and Western Mexico. Residential customers were spared since not many homes are hooked up to the natural gas network. Interestingly, the municipality of Guadalajara has no residential natural gas service as the prospect of combustibles running under the city unsettles quite a few residents, who no doubt vividly remember the April 22, 1992 explosion, which was caused by gasoline that leaked into the sewer system.

Update: As per usual the Mexfiles blog has a thorough analysis of this issue and even presents some of the contrarian opinions voiced in the Mexican media.

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