HomeNewsBriefRisks for Mexico’s Public Transport Workers Growing in 2019
BRIEF

Risks for Mexico’s Public Transport Workers Growing in 2019

EXTORTION / 12 AUG 2019 BY GABRIELLE GORDER EN

Two public transport vehicles were robbed and then set ablaze in Mexico City due to the failure of workers to pay extortion fees, illustrating how public transport workers and their passengers are on the frontlines of extortion-related violence in Mexico.

On August 1, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that criminal groups were extorting the city’s public transportation workers, Milenio reported.

The same day, the state’s attorney general declared that investigators had identified two criminal groups responsible for extorting, robbing and burning buses, according to ExcelsiorThe first group is led by Miguel Ángel N, alias “El Monterrey,” who reportedly has a history of extorting and killing bus drivers. The second unnamed group is said to attack buses entering the capital from neighboring Mexico State.

SEE ALSO: What Is Behind the Recent Wave of Violence in Mexico City?

The announcements follow a sharp uptick in violent attacks on public transit in Mexico City. The capital is currently averaging 28 assaults per day on public transportation, nearly triple the amount seen in January of 2018, according to the National Public Security System (Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública – SNSP). 

An average of 800 attacks took place in May and June this year — 100 more than during the first four months of 2019.

Transportation workers have demanded the government respond to rising insecurity. On July 16, following the violent deaths of two of their colleagues earlier that month, public transit drivers blocked two major highways, holding signs with messages that read: “Enough, no more blood behind the steering wheel,” and “AMLO, they’re killing us.”

InSight Crime Analysis

Although drug trafficking often dominates headlines when it comes to insecurity in Mexico city, extortion is a far more immediate threat to the 6.1 million people estimated to use public transport daily.

Historically considered one of the country’s safer cities, the capital accounted for about a quarter of the 16,543 assaults that occurred on public transport nationally in 2018.

Nearly all of these attacks ended with bloodshed. Of the 4,769 attacks on public transport within the the first six months of 2019, just 30 cases were non-violent. 

Yet criminals are rarely punished. Government data shows that 99 out of every 100 assaults on public transport in Mexico goes unreported.

SEE ALSO: Mexico City Sounds Alarm on Potential Transformation of Its Gangs 

Authorities seem to recognize this. Government officials recently dedicated 6,600 police officers to protecting public transport, in addition to promising to install security cameras, Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices and panic buttons in public transit vehicles.

In the meantime, as robberies become increasingly violent and deadly, some Mexico City transportation providers have temporarily suspended service

In the Central American countries of El SalvadorGuatemala and Honduras, bus operators have tried similar tactics to protest attacks from street gangs, which have long extorted the public transport sector. But little has come from these efforts. Assaults of buses and taxis continue to take passengers’ lives and make drivers’ jobs some of the most dangerous in the world.

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 TRAFFICKING / 3 AUG 2016

Tamaulipas has some of the highest missing persons rates in Mexico due to major migrant routes that traverse the border…

COLOMBIA / 28 NOV 2011

Since Mexico's crackdown on organized crime was launched in December 2006, it has become popular to compare the fight…

EL CHAPO / 13 MAR 2017

Considered by the US government to be the most powerful drug dealer of all time, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera,…

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…