Bolivian President Evo Morales says any vehicle caught smuggling fuel out of the country will be seized.
The South American country is rich in natural gas but suffers chronic fuel shortages. That's because Bolivia heavily subsidizes energy prices. So people illegally export the fuel and resell it for a profit across the border. Gas for heating and cooking is especially hot for resale.
Bolivia also lacks refining capacity. Together with the smuggling, it causes shortages that have long frustrated businesses and families. Demonstrators in the city of Santa Cruz took to the streets in horse-drawn carts this week to protest diesel shortages.
Morales responded with Thursday's decree, sending troops to patrol gas stations for smugglers.