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.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HOMICIDES / 14 MAR 2012

During testimony before the US Senate, a top military commander said that the targeting of drug cartel leaders did not…

ECUADOR / 9 AUG 2015

Over 1,500 Guatemalans have reportedly been killed by motorcycle assassins since 2012, highlighting the spread across Latin America of a…

MEXICO / 11 MAR 2011

A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) discusses money laundering issues between the U.S. and Mexico, and how…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…