News, Culture & Society

Vigilantes use metal plate to tattoo ‘Por Rata, ‘For Being A Rat’, on a suspected oil thief’s back

Video shows moment suspected fuel thief is forced to the ground as vigilantes brand his back with ‘por rata’, ‘for being a rat’, with a hot metal plate

  • Male suspect, with his face covered with a hood, is handcuffed and pinned to the ground as a hot custom metal shim is jammed into his back
  • The hot metal iron had the words ‘por rata’ in Spanish or ‘for being a rat’ 
  • According to Mexican news outlet Criterio Hidalgo, the man had been caught stealing gasoline containers from neighbors 

Vigilantes in Mexico severely punished a man suspected of stealing gasoline containers from residents.

A shocking cell phone video was posted on social media of two men holding down the suspected thief.

Another man stands over the suspect and jams a hot custom iron plate with the phrase ‘por rata’ in Spanish, or ‘for being a rat’ over the suspect thief’s upper back.


A man suspected of stealing oil from residents near Mexico city was punished by vigilantes who placed a hot metal plate over his upper back

The suspect fuel thief appears in the video laying face down on a street in Ecatepec, a town north of Mexico City, according to Mexican news outlet Criterio Hidalgo. 

His head is covered with a black hood and his hands are handcuffed.

The suspect lets out a loud moan as the vigilante presses the hot metal plate over his upper back for a period of 18 seconds before the video cuts off.

Mexico has been battling a fuel shortage dating back to December, which has been largely blamed on thieves stealing from oil refineries. 

Gasoline shortages prompted warnings from business leaders that industries, like automobile-making industry, will suffer if the shortfalls persist as lines at gas stations in the capital city and other states has grown.

Residents in Mexico used a hot custom iron plate to deliver justice on a man who was accused of stealing oil containers from neighbors

Residents in Mexico used a hot custom iron plate to deliver justice on a man who was accused of stealing oil containers from neighbors

The drive to eradicate a crime that has deprived state coffers of billions of dollars is President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s first major move against chronic corruption since taking office on Dec. 1, but risks angering consumers and hurting the economy.

Criminal groups have been tapping pipelines and stealing tanker trucks laden with diesel and gasoline in the oil-producing country for years, reselling it illicitly, often with apparent impunity.

Declining output at refineries owned and operated by state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, is forcing the firm to meet demand by relying more heavily on imported motor fuels, which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pledged to cut once more gasoline and diesel can be produced at home.









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