They accuse GN of intimidation in gas station inspections

Diana Gante/Reform Agency

Thursday, November 24, 2022 | 2:24 p.m.

Mexico City.- Some gas stations are victims of intimidation or bad practices in verification inspections by regulatory authorities that are accompanied by the National Guard (GN), denounced Ricardo Reynaga, legal director of eServices, consultant and legal adviser for the hydrocarbons sector.

He explained that in verification visits by the Federal Consumer Attorney’s Office (Profeco), the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and the Security, Energy and Environment Agency (ASEA) acts of intimidation are presented in which the participation of the public force.

“The three do it (intimidate): Profeco, CRE and ASEA. They do it with certain stations, not with all the verifications, they are random. Where they have a complaint or entities where people are braver, but the most intimidating thing is the subject to bring in the National Guard and that is impunity.

“It does have a function that Profeco and the regulators have these powers and that they get help from the public force, but you have to know in which cases, you have to use the criteria. The National Guard must come to provide support in case there is opposition from the regulated, not to intimidate”, he pointed out during his participation in Expogas, organized by the Mexican Association of Service Station Providers (Ampes).

Regarding the actions that the permit holders can take in the event of suffering any irregularity or intimidation in a review, it is found to request the National Guard the official authorization for their participation in the procedure, in which the names of the participants are expressed and the order to enter the tax domicile.

In case of not having it, the gas station could request the public force to withdraw, but it cannot refuse the regulator’s verification, Reynaga added.

“They are authorities that are very primitive in terms of legality. They carry out closures without complying with many principles of legality and that is wrong. For example, they do not fully identify themselves, not all the data is recorded in the minutes,” he denounced. .

Likewise, the manager recalled that with the State Patrimonial Responsibility Law, permit holders who are victims of some irregular action by the authorities could sue the State for quantifiable monetary compensation.

“It is a law that came out in 2021, a State Patrimonial Responsibility Law, which few know about and is little explored. Let it be known that there is the option to claim; it says that the amount of compensation must be quantifiable, which can be very easy because the gas station stops selling and that time would be the one that is counted”, he concluded.

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