Highway robbery is up 90% this year compared to 2017, according to the president of the National Chamber of Trucking (Canacar), who is calling for tougher penalties for offenders.
Speaking at a transportation industry event, Enrique González Muñoz said “there is no similar precedent” for the year-on-year increase in the crime.
According to National Public Security System (SNSP) statistics, there were 11,382 truck robberies last year, meaning that with a 90% surge, 2018 will end with 21,625 robberies.
The increase in the number of robberies between 2016 and 2017 was a more modest 32%.
González said that since 2012, the year former president Enrique Peña Nieto took office, highway robbery has increased by an alarming 168%.
He added that Canacar is pushing for highway and railroad robbery to be classified as serious crimes in order to deter would-be offenders.
González also said that due to rising insecurity on the nation’s roads, the cost of operating cargo transport services has increased. Insurance costs, he explained, have increased by around 130% in the space of a single year.
The Canacar chief said he had met with new federal Public Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo, to whom he suggested that the government implement preventative measures against highway robbery, especially in parts of the country where the incidence of the crime is high.
Statistics from security consultancy SensiGuard show that 28% of all truck robberies this year occurred in México state, followed by Puebla with 25%; Michoacán with 10%; Tlaxcala with 9%; and Nuevo León with 6%.
Highway theft is one of several security challenges faced by the new government, which took office on December 1.
Others include a soaring homicide rate and high levels of pipeline petroleum theft.
Source: Milenio (sp)