PEMEX is paying 100 pesos per day to some 108 local citizens to walk Tabasco's gulf beaches and pick up chunks of "natural asphalt" This "naturally occurring asphalt" is really globs of solidified crude oil mixed with sand and some kind of plant identified as "lirio", which could be lily-of-the-valley, iris, water hyacinth or water lily, depending on the dictionary of your choice.
PEMEX insists that the "natural asphalt" comes from "natural asphalt producing sites" over which it has no control. A PEMEX spokesman claims that there are "more than 1000 'naturally occurring natural asphalt producing natural asphalt producing sites' in the Gulf of Mexico" . . . naturally (as opposed, of course, to naturally occurring but non-producing natural asphalt producing sites, I think).
The local head of Profepa (Mexico's environmental watchdog . . . sort of), Ramiro Berrón, apparently immune to multi-million peso bribe offers and death threats, "advised PEMEX that he will continue watching the company's advances in cleaning up the nasty globs even if their source is 'natural'".
Now, I'm fully aware that this might possibly be a truly naturally occurring natural phenomena. However, with PEMEX's almost unbroken record of never telling the truth about anything that might be viewed as unfavorable and its equally sterling record of vastly overstating anything that might be viewed as even remotely favorable, I must agree with Reforma's generous use of quotation marks (" . . . ") as well as quotes inside quotes ("' . . . '").
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TAGS: Oaxaca, Mexico, Oaxaca teachers strike, Pale Horse Galleries, gifts, collectibles, Mexican arts and crafts, PEMEX