A Huachicolero is someone who engages in the theft of petroleum products for purposes of re-sale.
This is often done via making an illegal tap into an oil pipeline and siphoning product directly into large containers. An ever lucrative market, we see Cártels and members of rural villages and townships alike engaging in this criminal practice.
Those who do so are not always members of organized crime as a result, and can hail from a number of backgrounds. In many cases they are petty criminals looking to make a decent living in areas which offer them few opportunities.
The practice has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years with 200 taps reported countrywide in 2012 to nearly 3,000 reported in the first few months of 2017.
The most popular theatre for this activity seems to be Guanajuato, where an organization known as the Grupo Santa Rosa de Lima seems to reign supreme, and whom are currently at war with the CJNG for control of the state.
There are taps nationwide however, with other popular areas of this activity being Tamaulipas via the Cártel del Golfo, Cártel del Noreste and Los Zetas. As well as neighbouring states like Nuevo León and Coahuila.