The foreign ministry of Ecuador issued an official statement which said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, on behalf of the people and the National Government, expresses its solidarity with the Government and people of Mexico, for the unfortunate loss of human lives and dozens of injuries caused by the explosion of a fuel pipeline in the Municipality of Tlahuelilpan, State of Hidalgo.”
The statement also expressed its condolences and sympathized with Mexican authorities through this trying period and wished a quick recovery of the affected families.
The President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno also expressed his solidarity and commended the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) for his actions against fuel theft.
Acompañamos al pueblo mexicano en su luto por la explosión en el Estado de Hidalgo. La corrupción siempre afecta a inocentes. Mi solidaridad con @lopezobrador_ y su firmeza en la lucha contra el lavado de dinero por el robo de combustibles.
“We stand with the Mexican people in mourning the explosion in the state of Hidalgo. Corruption always affects innocent people. My solidarity with @lopezobrador_ and its firmness in the fight against money laundering by fuel theft,”
The accident occurred Friday afternoon in Tlahuelilpan when dozens of people, using buckets, were illegally collecting fuel, which stagnated in farmlands.
The mayor of Tlahuelilpan, Juan Pedro Cruz, said that the pipeline's leakage was reported at 5:00 pm local time. The Mexican army arrived to cordon off the area but could not control the some 200 people who were extracting the fuel. The agents asked the crowd to leave the area but they did not comply with the order, which caused the tragedy.
The fuel explosion created a 'fire barrier', causing a large number of people to become trapped in a ditch-like area.
Lopez Obrador launched a crackdown on fuel theft on Dec. 27 and ordered pipelines to be closed temporarily to stop illegal taps draining billions of dollars from the heavily-indebted state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
Through official statements, the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Panama, El Salvador, and Peru, among almost the hundreds governments, have shown their solidarity with the Mexican government and its people.