CFE cable theft the new huachicol from Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico – Theft of CFE copper cable is called the New Huachicol or New Group of Thieves Around Mexico. While the term huachicol was generally reserved for the theft of oil, particularly in Pemex pipelines, the term is now being extended to CFE.
The theft of copper cables stolen from the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) cost the company more than 488.1 million pesos. CFE wire theft has been a constant problem for many years.
On an average daily basis, the company loses about 858 meters of copper cable, a cable pulled from live lines where the copper is removed and sold for cash. Luis Bravo, CFE’s communications director, said their copper wires are sold on the black market, which for thieves is very profitable since the price of copper is higher than that of other scrap.
Bravo says the scrap metal workers transfer the copper to recycling plants where it is smelted. “Copper is a metal that can be traded for other purposes and becomes a very attractive asset or material for crime,” said the CFE official.
The theft of the CFE cable has become an even greater concern this year with several incidents, including one death, in the northern region of Quintana Roo. In May, nearly 11,000 people were left without power in Playa del Carmen after nighttime thieves seized the cable at a substation.
“It happens at night, rascals come in, open the hoods, steal the cable and leave people without power, so we have to replace the cable and restore service. These are acts of vandalism and the victim is the CFE, ”he stressed.
Days later, in two separate incidents in Cancun, two men were caught attempting to steal thread, one of whom died in the process.