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Sixty Percent of Households Rob Electricity

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 25 February, 2011

(Acapulco, NA 25 February) The head of local 12 of the Electricians Union in Guerrero, Mario Ramírez Manzanares, revealed yesterday that as many as 60% of all consumers of electricity have illegal connections and are not paying for power. The labor official said that the wide scale robbery is costing the federal electric utility (CFE) around 100 million pesos per year in Acapulco alone.

The illegal connections are most evident in the poorer communities in the periphery of Acapulco: Zapata, Renacimiento, La Venta and La Sabana. Another concentration is along the coast to the north of Acapulco: Jardin, Pie de la Cuesta, Sector Seis, Nueva Era and San Isidro.

Some connections are attached to the meters of other people, who have to pay the bill, but most are just “hung” on the transformers or supply wires with a device called a “diablito.” In those cases, the power is simply stolen from the utility itself. These illegal connections are responsible for short circuits and damage to CFE’s transformers. They cause frequent black-outs in the neighborhoods where the practice is most rampant.

CFE is responding by installing new transformers in some areas. According to Ramírez, it is not possible to steal energy with the new transformers in place, and to try to do so would be life-threatening.

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