Transporters paralyze roads in Mexico to denounce the high insecurity they live

The Mexican Alliance of Transport Organizations (Amotac) paralyzed roads in Mexico with a national strike to denounce an increase in the violence of organized crime, with estimated losses of 7,000 million pesos in 2023.

After an increase close to 5% of robberies to trucks with merchandise in 2023, according to the National Chamber of Cargo Transportation (Canacar), tens of thousands of transporters demanded measures from the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who accused them of being “conservatives” and refusing to dialogue.

The Amotac, with more than 100,000 affiliates and an estimate of almost half a million vehicles, blocked the main roads of the country, such as those that connect Mexico City with Toluca, Querétaro, Puebla, Veracruz, Pachuca and Guerrero.

The drivers’ protest also covered from Tamaulipas, on the border with the United States, to Chiapas, on the border with Central America.

“It hurts to lose the drivers of the trailers day by day, the security on the roads is minimal and the excess of toll charges is increasing, we have excessive charges for the crane services”, said the delegate of the Amotac in San Cristóbal, Chiapas, William de Jesús Arellano.

As in other places in the country, the demonstration in Chiapas began at 8:00 a.m. local time, when they installed about 100 units on the road from San Cristóbal-Chiapa de Corzo and the international highway Ciudad Comitan-Cuauhtémoc.

The organization assured that for 10 years the transporters have pointed out to the Government the most violent routes, but the authorities “were overwhelmed”.

“To all the authorities of Government, state and federal, that they turn to see us, here in the state they assaulted us in the Mal Pasito section and in that assault my brother died and now it is very difficult”, commented Marco Antonio López, delegate of Amotac in Comitán.

In Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, the blockade lasted from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The transporters decided to end it after agreeing to a meeting for Friday with federal officials.

Chihuahuan industrialists said that the blockade carried out by the transporters is understandable and that as long as the weapons continue to circulate on the roads in the hands of civilians and impunity does not yield, the violence will continue to grow, undermining the economy and competitiveness of the country.

“I am a transporter and we were assaulted last year in Chichimequillas, in Querétaro. I had lived it, it is a very ugly thing, the good thing is that they only took our belongings, but to other colleagues they take the truck and even their lives, so much insecurity is not possible”, said José Manuel Castañón, subdelegate of the Mexican Alliance of Transport Organizations Civil Association (Amotac) of Ciudad Jiménez, Chihuahua.

For his part, Thor Salayandía Lara, national vice president of Maquiladora and Border Strips of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry, indicated that this stoppage means a great brake on production but especially for the competitiveness of the country.

“From Tijuana to Matamoros we depend on the export industry and they are being affected in some way (…) we lose competitiveness due to the violence due to this type of stoppages, but something has to be done”, said the industrial leader.

Human and financial losses

Due to the assaults on trucks with merchandise, the industry lost an approximate of 7,000 million pesos in 2023, according to the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin).

While the Canacar reported in January about 13,000 robberies with and without violence in 2023, in addition to an estimate of between 50 and 150 drivers killed.

“To the colleagues who are on the border, the transporters, they have taken their units away, they have asked them for the right payment (extortion), and if not (they pay) they disappear and it is the saddest truth”, commented Pascual Hernández, a transporter who protested in Chiapas.

The Government dismisses the transporters

Although it is already the second national protest so far this month, President López Obrador stated that “there are leaders of these organizations who are militants of conservative parties and, as the elections (of June 2) are coming, they take advantage of the trip”.

“Yes, because they are offered: Let’s see, let’s dialogue, let’s look for a solution. The leaders do not want. That is why I take the opportunity to speak to the transporters, to tell them that we are with them and committed to protecting them”, he said in his morning conference.

The Secretary of the Interior, Luisa María Alcalde, indicated that “120 attention meetings have been held with members of Amotac”, to whom they promised to deploy 600 new elements of the National Guard and 2,000 patrols.

But the president assured that “they got up from the table because they already have a plan with cunning”.

Source: Forbes