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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, January 6, 2020

As gangs and cartels diversify, train robberies escalate in the North, targeting grain shipments and auto parts

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat   Reforma

During 2019, the robbery of trains moved to the north of the country and the main objective was grains.

According to the safety report of the Rail Transport Regulatory Agency (ARTF), until the third quarter of last year, 372 train robberies were registered in Sonora, 55 percent more than in the same period of 2018.

In Sinaloa, they went from 88 to 145, an increase of 64.7 percent, while Coahuila reported 280, an increase of 35.9 percent.

In contrast, Puebla, which in 2018 led, had a fall of 28.1 percent with 276 robberies and Guanajuato registered a drop of 13.2 percent with 248 crimes of this type.

According to the report, from January to September 2019, 26.9 percent of the thefts were directed to grain shipments, which places this product as the most sought after by criminals, followed by auto parts.

Felipe de Javier Peña, president of the Transportation Commission of the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin), said that this is worrysome because it reflects that it is not about theft of opportunity, but about mobilizations to certain regions of the country to steal specific products.

"There is progress in the issue of the National Guard structure that we hope will work better and better, but we see that crime is still moving to regions with a certain movement of cargo," he said.

Peña, also president of the National Council for the Supply of Grains and Oilseeds (Conago), stressed that the presumption is that Sinaloa mainly steals corn and Sonora wheat.

Some companies, he said, can move 50 hoppers that have a capacity of up to 4,500 tons of grains, which if it were corn, would cost a million 890 thousand pesos, since each ton is priced at 4,200 pesos in the center of the country.

Following the trail of stolen corn or beans is very difficult, which is why in many cases they end up in traditional supply centers at the same commercial price of legitimate merchandise, explained Serapio Vargas, vice president of the Corn Product System of the Northern Region of Mexico.

"The corn is of high quality and finds an easy market in Mexico, it ends up in the various distribution and supply centers and in the different forms of purchase.

"For example, beans can be sold for seed because beans are sometimes stolen from good quality”, he said.

This year, a company that uses grains for its final product suffered a robbery in the Cañada de Morelos in Puebla where the attackers damaged the train's braking system, forcing the operator to stop the unit and began the theft of the grain.

A month, the company suffers the theft of about 250 tons of grains, which a year equals a loss of approximately 16 million pesos, from which it recovers Very little, he detailed.

Kansas City Southern de México (KCSM), which operates in states such as Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí, said it has, among other measures, train guards in high-risk areas and patrol vehicles.

Huachicolero Gangs Diversified into Train Robbery in the South

The bands of huachicoleros diversified their activities before the operations against fuel theft and are now also stealing trains, especially in the limits of Veracruz and Puebla.

Their M.O. is to first, they cut the train's air hoses, which are part of the brake system; later, they put barricades in the tracks so that the unit stop and now, they cause derailments.

"They have been sophisticated and want to do more damage.  They are powerful, they use high-power weapons," said María de Lourdes Aranda, director of Relations with Government and Communication of Ferromex.

Aranda said that, according to the reports they have received, Roberto de los Santos,alias "El Bukanas" – is considered the main huachicolero leader of the Red Triangle located in the municipalities where the Minatitlán-Mexico pipeline crosses - is also involved in the train robberies  in that area.

In various searches, federal agents have located warehouses with hundreds of tons of cleaning products, seeds, furniture, aluminum utensils, dog food, shampoo, fabric softeners, beer, mattresses, crockery, liquor, brick, rods, sugar, gravel and even sweets.

The theft of animals, appliances, clothing, shoes, soda and refrigerated food is also a factor.


  1. Divide and conquer is the cause of this shit. DEA and CIA wanted to disband cartels and this is the outcome after many years of doing so.

    1. What are you talking about many cartels have gotten bigger and stronger all this time because mexicans and americans authorities didn't do enough about it.

    2. You are as goofy as AMLO, who gets on media every morning telling the country that everything is fine and dandy in Mexico!

  2. Looks like a good opportunity for mercenary work. Too bad the Mexican government will not sanction the safety of assets.

  3. There are too many tumors spreading in Mexico. The only force that can successful rid Mexico of tumors are the Americans.

  4. This not true, Amlo says no corruption. There comes a point when u got to have a since humor and just LOL. HE IS FUNNY, HE JUST A Clown. Especially with those flowers on his head. JaJa

  5. P.villa days
    History is repeating itself!

  6. This is bad , the criminals are going to continue to plunder Mexico of it's resources . Call in the national guard and resurgence the Federal Police on the railroads .

  7. No wonder my autopart did not arrive to the store, it was high jacked by the filthy train robbers.


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