Mexican city to fine Americans buying diesel

| 8/11/2008

Americans thinking of sneaking across the border to buy some of that cheaper, government-subsidized diesel in Mexico may want to re-evaluate the plan.

The city of Ciudad Acuna, which is located just across the border from Del Rio, TX, is now fining U.S. drivers who are crossing the border to buy more than their share of cheap diesel.

The Associated Press reports that the city government has begun fining American drivers who fill up extra drums, tanks or barrels to bring them back to the states.

The city will still allow drivers to fill up the tanks in their own vehicles, but wants to crack down on what it says is a violation of customs and export rules and, in some cases, a safety violation.

The fines handed out so far have been equivalent to 70 percent of the value of the diesel confiscated.

But there’s more. According to U.S. News and World Report, the city government has gone beyond just fining in some cases. In one case, two Texas residents had their pickup truck seized as they were on their way home after filling up.

High fuel prices in the U.S. have led to an increase in traffic across the border and have caused temporary fuel shortages in many border towns, including Ciudad Acuna and Tijuana.

Mexico sells diesel fuel domestically at subsidized prices of about $2.25 per gallon.