There was free wheat for at least 300 residents of a community in Nogales, Veracruz, yesterday morning after valves were opened on at least one hopper car of a freight train.
The Ferrosur train had stopped briefly in El Mirador but it was long enough for thieves to gain access to the cars, which began discharging streams of wheat at the side of the tracks.
The train resumed its journey and the wheat continued to flow for at least two kilometers.
Residents showed up right away with sacks, buckets, plastic bags, wheelbarrows and pickup trucks to carry the grain away.
Local and state police showed up half an hour later but decided to avoid a confrontation and not intervene after they were warned off by the crowd.
The process of gathering up the wheat — an estimated 70 tonnes — extended well into the afternoon.
Municipal authorities blamed the incident on members of a civil organization called Alianza Ciudadana, or Citizens’ Alliance, but its leader denied any involvement.
Nogales is within the Córdoba-Ciudad Mendoza-Orizaba corridor, which has seen a number of attacks on freight trains.
In January there was an attempt to steal cement from a train in the industrial area of Córdoba. A robbery in Amatlán de los Reyes during the same month saw thieves get away with 10 tonnes of rebar.