The most dangerous roads in the country today, are those of Veracruz, State of Mexico, Guerrero and Michoacan, announced Rafael Ortiz Pacheco, national leader of the Mexican Association of Transporters AC Organizations (Amotac).
Ortiz Pacheco said that monthly reports he receives indicate an alleged theft of 50 vehicles across the country representing an economic loss so far this year of $250 million pesos for this sector of the country.
On the other hand he notes that other difficulties facing the sector is with insurerance companies not responding to losses, mainly in violent acts such as seizing tractor trailers by demonstrators, burning loaded trucks or stealing them.
Pacheco explained that insurance carriers sidestep their responsibilities by blaming the truckers themselves for the losses.
Steel and grocery items are the most commonly stolen items.
Three robberies a day, most violent, or what the truckers encounter, in the absence of Fedral surveillance on the roads, with trucks that move food products which are easy targets of crime, said Benito Rojas, Amotac delegate in San Juan Acosac, Puebla. The smaller trucks, 1 ton to 2 1/2 ton seem to be the most targeted. This carrying food and perishables that can easily be sold to small mom and pop groceries at a profit for the criminals
Pacheco said that as a security measure, drivers have been banned from driving at night, however, Owner Operators prefer to make their trips in the early orning hours, a situation that has contributed to the crimes of robbery and theft..
Pacheco also called on the Federal and State authorities to step up patrols and enforcement duties in this area to make the roads safer.
This in regard to a recent fatality accident in San Luis Potosi, where a truck pulling a set of 45 foot doubles hit a bus traveling with 11 people, including nine students from a state high school, killing all,
Ortiz Pacheco regretted that the Congress has not banned the movement of full trailers. The Mexican Congress passed what is called NOM-012, reducing slightly the gross weight of double trailers and restricting them to Federal highways, but at the urging of big business in Mexico, little has been done to enforce the new rules.
He said that for more than three years AMOTAC had requested and presented initiatives to stop the double trailer permits, however regrettfully, soft drink companies, cement plants, bakeries, among others, continue allowing these vehicles to operate.
How does this effect American interests who might take advantage of the successful completion of the Cross Border Pilot Program and decide to operate in Mexico? No effect whatsoever as most of the NAFTA factories are located in the northern states where violence has decreased substantially over the past few years. Guerrera and Michoacan are the states where the past violence has been contained to. Where new pseudo cartels try to gain a foothold and citizen groups are going head to head with these groups and the military who try to keep order.
It should also be noted that most of these thefts involved regional carriers who transports the goods for the Mexican market and have nothing to do with cross border trade.
CANACAR has not issued a similar report on this subject.