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MEXICO CITY — More than 100 oil workers and contractors hired by Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex have aided criminal gangs in stealing millions of barrels of fuel over the past decade, a document obtained by Reuters news agency shows.

The corrupt workers collaborate with crime gangs, some with links to powerful drug cartels, to hijack tanker trucks or siphon gas, crude oil and jet fuel out of tens of thousands of miles of pipelines snaking across Mexico.

Since 2001, 97 workers and seven contractors, usually truck drivers, have been linked to fuel thefts, Pemex told Reuters through a freedom-of-information request.

Some of those staff members have engineering skills and inside knowledge of the company.

Fuel theft has cost Pemex some $600 million since last year alone. Mexico’s government relies on oil revenue for about a third of its budget.


Opposition leader steps down to fight new cancer

TORONTO — The leader of Canada’s main opposition party said Monday he will step down temporarily because of poor health, a move that could boost the governing Conservatives.

Jack Layton of the leftist New Democratic Party was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. The 61-year-old politician, who led his party to its best ever showing in the May 2 federal election, also fractured his hip in March.

Mr. Layton, whose face was tightly drawn and who looked seriously ill, said at a hastily arranged news conference Monday that tests had uncovered a second kind of cancer in his body.

“On the advice of my doctors I’m going to focus on treatment and recovery,” he said.


Four soldiers on trial for 1982 massacre

GUATEMALA CITY — Four soldiers accused of taking part in a notorious Guatemalan massacre went on trial Monday, the first time members of the armed forces have faced prosecution for the 1982 Las Dos Erres bloodbath.

More than 200 people were killed when Guatemalan soldiers attacked the northern village of Las Dos Erres at the height of Guatemala’s devastating 36-year civil war.

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