Truth is Stranger than Fiction, Mexico Edition

and I’m not actually talking about El Chapo’s (second) escape from a “high-security” prison in Mexico.  No, this time it’s Pemex that is providing the hilarious incompetence via an article called “12 Ridiculous Things We Learned About PEMEX’s Insanely Expensive Safety Videos.”

Let’s start with the fact that Pemex has a terrible safety record.  According to the article (and the Reuters investigation upon which it is based), “Mexico has the worst injury rate of all major oil-producing countries.”

Instead of fixing the situation through better worker training, management instead decided to “spend over $40 million to make cheesy safety videos filled with bikini-clad telenovela stars and low-budget special effects.”  Wow, what a great idea for a company that supposedly is trying to get its act together.  Management decided this was a better use of money than actually providing more safety training and apparently a lot more fun for the workers (according to one safety official, “If a woman comes out in a bikini, it is like salt and pepper for the oil workers.”)  Alrightly then.

And how do you manage to spend $40 million on safety videos.  Excellent question.  The article notes that:

“At least part of the budget went toward hiring nine pre-production staffers, 10 stunt doubles, four drivers, two areal cameramen, 37 miscellaneous crew members, actors and extras and mediocre green screen technology. It is not entirely clear where the rest of the money went.”

That last line is classic Mexico.