Dangers of driving through Coahuila; If narcos don’t assault us, police invent fines for us

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State police officers patrol the streets, days after a gun battle between police and hitmen, in the municipality of Villa Union, Coahuila, Mexico December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

The criminal incidence on the roads in the north of the country is a constant for hundreds of drivers, the same thing happens in the cities of La Laguna.

The criminal incidence on the highways of the north of the country is a constant for hundreds of truck drivers, who claim they are robbed at gunpoint, whose bad experience has permeated their emotional state.

César, 42, is originally from Francisco I. Madero, Coahuila, had a bad experience being robbed with a gun in his hand,  at the beginning of September of this year, when he stopped on the outskirts of Monterrey, to take a break.

When he was about to sleep inside the cabin, an individual climbed on the running board and touched the glass with a gun and with high-sounding words demanded that he open the door.

“I got nervous because the assailant pointed the gun at me and threatened me that if I didn’t open the door he would shoot me to death. I had no choice and I opened it to him”, and he claimed that the robber hit him in the head with the pistol, took his belongings and fled.“I thought he would take the trailer away from me, but he didn’t.”

He emphasized that his life was in danger and that for a moment he could have died from a bullet, since if the thief had triggered the gun accidentally, “there would have been.”

According to César’s experience, from time to time there are assaults on the section from Torreón to Saltillo, but they are more frequent on the Saltillo to Monterrey highway.

The bloody cartel rivalry

For a few months there has been a growing dispute between criminal groups for control of the cities that border the US in the states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and Coahuila.

These are key points for the trafficking of drugs and illegal goods, as well as the flow of economic resources that the cartels seek to manage, explains public security researcher Víctor Sánchez to BBC Mundo.

Patrols on highway 85D from Monterrey to Nuevo Laredo
Caption,The stretch of highway near Sabinas Hidalgo is one of the riskiest.

“The commandos stop trailers that carry merchandise. They take the trucks or sometimes just the merchandise. And on some occasions they disappear the drivers. The same with private vehicles: they focus on equipped vans that they later use for their activities,” he says. .

Although it has been a practice seen for a decade, it has intensified in recent months.

“It is a zone of conflict and dispute, but it goes beyond the simple dispute of criminal organizations. It has a lot to do with the DNA of Los Zetas,” explains Sánchez.

And it is that the Cartel del Noreste -CDN, made up of members of the extinct bloodthirsty group Los Zetas- controls the city of Nuevo Laredo, which has recently been the target of other organizations.

“The offensive has intensified a lot in recent months by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, hand in hand with a local organization, the Metros, which is a faction of the Gulf Cartel,” says Sánchez.

Narcos, Police and military checkpoints extort carriers 

Given the above, he assures that the police and military checkpoints do not work to stop crime, but they do work to extort money from carriers.

Miguel is a local truck driver and daily confronts traffic from Gómez Palacio and Torreón and assures that he is frequently detained to fine him for alleged violations of the Urban Mobility Regulation.“They already have me up to my neck with their alleged violations of the regulations, they don’t know of another. Since I leave the company at 5:45 a.m., 

my first thought is that traffic is not going to stop me, because it is wasted time for me and that brings me economic consequences.”

He said that unfortunately there are no safety conditions for drivers of heavy units, since on the one hand, local authorities “assault” you by inventing fines and on the other, crime steals your trailer and belongings.

The Torreon Post