Cargo theft in Mexico reaches alarming level

The Confederation of Industrial Chambers announces there have been 3,357 cargo theft cases during the first quarter of 2018; robberies are increasingly more sophisticated, it warns

Cargo theft in Mexico reaches alarming level
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 23/05/2018 15:07 Ivette Saldaña Mexico City Actualizada 15:07
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Cargo theft in Mexico has reached “alarming” levels. It's a phenomenon in which not only the cargo and federal infrastructures are damaged but also, the lives of drivers are threatened since organized crime is finding increasingly more sophisticated methods, according to the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (CONCAMIN).

From January to March 2018, there have been a total of 3,357 robbery cases, 108%, more than those recorded for the same time period in 2016 and 65% more than in 2017, a situation “overwhelming” the sector as it reaches unsustainable levels, according to the president of the Transport Commission of the CONCAMIN, Felipe de Javier Peña Dueñas.

It's a grave matter which has a marked impact on foods, beverages, fuel, and chemicals, since in 70% of cases these where the merchandises stolen, a major concern given oil derivatives and chemicals require special handling lest they cause accidents.

However, grains – corn, wheat, and soy – are “frequent targets” of criminals, as they are “attractive basic consumables” as 500,000 tonnes arrive weekly to Mexico from the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific ports.

The iron and steel industry has registered thefts for over 3,680 tonnes during the first four months of 2018 – 10% more than the figures registered during the same time period in 2017. Steel rods were the material stolen the most, followed by wire rod, stated Mexico's Chamber of the Iron and Steel Industry (CANACERO).

The most dangerous areas are the roads – highway or railroads – of the route Mexico City-Puebla-Veracruz; the Mexico City-Saltillo route, and the Mexiquense Beltway.

Talking about states, the hardest-hit by criminal gangs are Puebla, State of Mexico, Veracruz, Michoacán, Tlaxcala, Nuevo León, and Jalisco.

During the first quarter of 2018, there were 840 cases reported in Puebla and 804 in the State of Mexico.

Of all the robberies to the iron and steel industry, only 24% of the cargo was recovered – double of what was recovered in 2017, according to the National Chamber of the Iron and Steel Industry.

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