Mexico will reinforce military surveillance along its gulf coast following recent incidents of piracy, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said Thursday, Nov. 14.
“We are beginning to deal with that,” he said at his daily press conference “It’s a plan by the Naval Secretariat that will include control of the ports, all of the ports.”
The new measures aim to establish a naval base at the port of Dos Bocas in southeastern state of Tabasco in order to increase a military presence there.
According to local media, a ship sailing under the Italian flag was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Mexico last week, leaving two sailors injured.
In addition to piracy on the high seas, crime is on the rise along the country’s coasts, AMLO acknowledged.
The Mexican daily Excelsior reported on Wednesday, Nov. 13, that fishing communities in 16 of 17 coastal states are victims of organized crime, with fishermen being intimidated into paying up to 1,000 pesos a week to extortionists.
AMLO defended his strategy of fighting crime by attending to the country’s vulnerable youth so that they are not easily recruited by criminal rings.
“It’s the most effective way to deal with the problem of crime — the most efficient and the cheapest way, if you analyze it well, and most importantly, the most humane way,” he said.
The state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has reported an increase in recent years in theft at oil platforms, especially in the southern gulf’s Campeche Sound, with thieves stealing sophisticated machinery and even personal belongings that were later sold on the black market.