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South Texas, Border Patrol Agents, McAllen Horse Patrol Unit CBP, Border Patrol agents from the McAllen station horse patrol unit on patrol on horseback in South Texas. Photographer: Donna Burton via flickr

Pipeline routes host more and more cartel killings

Zachary Toliver | Shale Plays Media

There is no end to Mexican drug cartels’ ruthlessness and adaptation of new methods to bring black market business into the United States. In the wake of the energy boom, smugglers and traffickers are taking advantage of the extensive oil and gas pipelines of the Southwest United States as routes to elude authorities. In addition to the scarcity of people, pipeline routes are cleared of brush and made for easy access in case a fire or explosion were to happen. This creates a path free of wild animals and hidden threats. Joe Carroll of Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports,

Authorities say beatings, kidnappings, and rapes are rising as pipeline networks expand and new conduits are installed to handle surging oil and gas output from the Eagle Ford, the largest shale oil formation in the U.S.”

As Carroll points out, the activity taking place along pipeline routes not only endangers ranchers and farms, but also oilfield workers. Assault and robbery for valuable gear along the pipeline are dangerous realities brought about by the merciless cartels. Carroll also states the action is only to get worse once oil and gas companies begin production in Mexico. The country’s decision to lift their 75 year old ban on outside petroleum investors means that much of the future product could head to U.S. refineries.

Read the extensive, chilling article by Joe Carroll, “Murder on the Pipelines: Drug Cartels Turn Texas Oil Routes into Killing Zones.” You will not be disappointed.

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