Plan to Loosen State Control of Mexico’s Oil Market Could Mean Opportunities for Cartels

By Colby Adams

Plans to attract foreign capital and expertise to Mexico's oil sector could give organized crime groups and corrupt officials an opportunity to layer and integrate dirty money, say industry analysts. Under a governmental proposal pitched in August, foreign contractors would finance and participate in the exploration and development of Mexico's deep water and nonconventional oil fields and share their profits with Petr??leos Mexicanos, or Pemex. The nationally-owned company would retain ownership of any oil discovered through the joint projects once targets are met. While the proposed reforms are designed to galvanize the country's lagging oil production which, as of 2012,...