Invasions of motorcyclists in an upmarket Mexico City borough are proving a nuisance for citizens, who say they feel in danger.
The quaint Coyoacán borough, in southern Mexico City, is an intellectual and artistic hub, once home to artist Frida Kahlo and site of the main campus of the National Autonomous University (UNAM).
Residents of the borough are used to tourists and daytrippers flooding the main squares and museums on weekends and vacations. However, people in Colonia del Carmen say 100-strong biker caravans have arrived frequently over the last six months, generally at night, mounting sidewalks, riding the wrong way down roads and parking their vehicles in a church courtyard and in two of Coyoacán’s well-preserved public gardens.
At night, when the motorcycle engines roar, sensitive car alarms go off, residents said.
Colonia del Carmen resident Gilberto Kapellmann told the newspaper Reforma that the bikers were going unchallenged and putting people’s lives at risk.
“My daughter and I were almost run over outside the door of my house when we tried to step out onto the sidewalk … dozens of motorcyclists were allowed to harass us … they never slowed down. They forced us to step aside and wait for them to pass. They can do it because nobody tells them anything,” he said.
“The truth is that it’s very difficult to get around with 100 guys [on motorcycles] … they are in front of the police, doing whatever they want,” Kapellmann added.
He’s reported the issue to the local government but law enforcement is ignoring the problem, he said. The security operation doesn’t work, he claimed.
“It has no presence, and it has never solved anything,” he said. “The police have a permanent patrol … but it seems that they’ve been given the instruction to show their presence and nothing more and to not attend to anything.”
Since Kapellmann’s comments to Reforma, the local government has said it had agreed with Mexico City security authorities to prevent the riders from entering the borough by cutting off road access.
The head of the borough’s citizen security, Aurora Cruz Ramírez, said the local government would be informed by city officials from a monitoring center when a large concentration of motorists is detected, allowing them to take action.
Cruz added that the motorcycle caravans could be tracked effectively, as they normally arrive from northern Mexico City.
With reports from Reforma