The Unpopular Attempt to Privatize Mexico’s State-Owned Oil Company

Crude Harvest: Selling Mexico’s Oil

Al Jazeera (2014)

Film Review

This documentary is about efforts by the Mexican government to privatize the country’s state-owned oil company. This extremely unpopular move would help lead to their defeat in the July 2018 election by left-leaning Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (aka Mexico’s Bernie Sanders).

The film also explores the devastating effect of NAFTA on Mexican agriculture, as well as the link between two million farm workers losing their jobs and the explosion of organized crime. Due to high unemployment, farm workers put out of work by NAFTA are left with only two choices: to cross illegally into the US or to work for Mexican crime cartels.

Pemex, Mexico’s state owned oil company, was first nationalized in 1938. When multinational oil companies demanded compensation, tens of thousands of Mexican peasants pawned their possessions to help the government buy out the foreign oil/gas companies.

Mexico is the last country to offer up nationally owned oi/gas resources to foreign exploitation. US oil companies are rubbing their hands with glee at the immense profit potential of untapped oil/gas reserves in a country with virtually no environmental or labor regulation.

Mexican drug cartels are responding to the corporate invasion by kidnapping oil/gas workers. This significantly increases the cost of production.