The protection of key interstate highways will be one of the first priorities of the newly-created National Guard.
The new security force will safeguard those routes where highway robbery has been worst, using security checkpoints, arms and drug detectors and other measures to combat theft against transport trucks and motorists, concentrating initially on four states.
Canacar, the national trucking association, says 75% of all crimes committed against motorists and shippers occur in Puebla, Michoacán, México state and Tlaxcala, costing the economy an estimated 92.5 billion pesos (US $4.8 billion) every year.
The organization also said that in February there were 990 incidents of highway robbery, of which 80% occurred in those four states.
The most dangerous highways have been identified as Mexico City-Veracruz, Morelia-Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico City-Querétaro, Querétaro-Salamanca-Irapuato, Mexico City-Cuernavaca-Chilpancingo and Monterrey-Reynosa.
The new National Public Security Plan will coordinate cooperation between different government agencies and depend heavily on the participation of the private sector, said Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo earlier this month.
He said measures to put a stop to lawlessness on high-crime highways will include an official barcode specific to any merchandise transported along the routes, a robbery reporting center, certified rest stops to provide secure areas for motorists and truckers on long journeys, and control checkpoints, where authorities will be able to inspect drivers’ cargo.
He added that members of the National Guard will have full access to surveillance cameras at toll plazas, as well as permission to inspect vehicles and their cargo at distribution and supply centers and in a wide variety of commercial centers.
The National Guard will also use gamma rays to detect hidden weapons and drugs that are being transported.