On 23 December, an article from Insight Crime says that, in a region where 50% of the population already makes its living in the informal market, it was perhaps of little surprise that black markets exploded in 2020 amidst a worldwide contagion. Throughout Latin America, there was an explosion in black market resellers to provide virtually any product. The biggest earners remained contraband staples: cigarettes, alcohol and medicine among them. But other, less traditional products, also spiked, including everything from personal protective equipment to bacon. With millions out of work, heavy restrictions on movement and many conventional criminal economies temporarily hobbled, stealing and reselling oil and its derivatives has also risen to the fore. The article says that it is, quite simply, both a convenient way for criminal groups to shore up their finances and for the public to keep moving.
I had omitted the following link (as it did not seem to generate much interest!), but it seemed time to add it again and say that, if you would like to make a (polite) gesture and help me with my removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y