HomeNewsBriefHow ‘UberEATS’ Could Reduce Violence in Mexico City
BRIEF

How ‘UberEATS’ Could Reduce Violence in Mexico City

HOMICIDES / 2 JUN 2017 BY DEBORAH BONELLO EN

The dismantling of a microtrafficking operation in Mexico City that used bags issued by UberEATS to deliver marijuana shows how dealers are using new, and, analysts say, less violent ways to distribute drugs.

At least ten people were arrested by police in the working class neighbourhood of Tepito on May 30, in possession of a number of bags of marijuana packed into the UberEATS backpacks, according to news reports.

The police also found several muffins, presumably also containing marijuana, which had been packed for delivery.

UberEATS backpacks have become common in the upscale neighborhoods of the city, where the service has become popular. It provides home delivery for customers of food sourced from restaurants that do not always provide takeout services.

In response to the arrests, Uber — which also runs the highly popular mobile telephone-car service in Mexico City — issued the following statement to the Mexican press: “Uber condemns all acts that are a risk to people’s health or security.”

It added that it would cooperate with the authorities in their investigation.

InSight Crime Analysis

The use of door-to-door delivery services such as that furnished by UberEATS service might actually help reduce the violence usually associated with microtrafficking.

Tepito is Mexico City’s most emblematic ‘barrio bravo,’ or tough neighborhood. It is a hub for crimes such as counterfeiting, drug processing and sales, as well as arms trafficking. It is also home to the famous Santa Muerte shrine. Violence here is common and ever-present.

By creating steps of separation between buyers and sellers drug dealers maintain a lower profile and a more discreet distribution network.

“All things being equal, more discreet and decentralized distribution equals less violence,” Alejandro Hope, a crime analyst and former intelligence official,* told InSight Crime.

If clients can order their drugs via the phone or messaging services and have them delivered to their door, it means a lot less waiting around and exposure for both sides of the transaction.

“For sure, home-delivery services tend to be much less violent than open-air markets (people standing in corners) and other forms of retail drug selling, like club dealers and the like,” said Jaime López, a security policy consultant and former police official. “Obviously, the best alternative is a well-regulated legal market, but in terms of violence, delivery beats other illegal alternatives.”

*Hope is also part of InSight Crime’s Board of Directors.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 9 JUL 2013

Heightened border security measures under the Obama administration have reportedly prompted Mexico's human smugglers to charge high prices and switch…

GULF CARTEL / 19 APR 2011

Mexican police announced the discovery of five mass graves near a shooting range in the municipality of Santa…

JALISCO CARTEL / 24 JUL 2013

In the latest convulsion of violence in the embattled Michoacan state, two Mexican national police, and 20 civilians have been…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…