Mexico Truck Drivers Strike Against Rampant Cargo Theft, Violence

Professional truck drivers across Mexico engaged in strike actions this past Monday to protest rampant cargo theft and violence while hauling freight on the country’s roadways.

El Paso-based news station KTSM 9 reported that a group of drivers parked some 50 trucks on two of the four traffic lanes on the well-trafficked Federal Highway 45, a roadway which ultimately crosses the U.S.-Mexico border. The action spurred on traffic delays in south Jaurez, the border city adjacent to El Paso, Texas.

Meanwhile, a litany of other strikes were reported across the country by Mexican news outlet Milenio. This included truck drivers forming traffic blockades on several popular roadways: the Barranca Larga-Ventanilla highway near Oaxaca, a city in Southern Mexico; the La Tinaja-Cosoleacaqu highway south of Veracruz; and the Mexico-Querétaro highway in Mexico City.

On Sunday, FreightWaves reported that the strike would feature thousands of drivers representing a collation of 15 Mexican trucking organizations. Such groups include the United Federal Drivers Association, the Mexican Transport Alliance, and the Mexican American Transport Federation.

Organizers of the labor-related action are calling on Mexico’s government to enlist more military patrols, particularly on roads with high instances of theft. They are also seeking stricter penalties against cargo thieves and support for injured drivers or, in cases of death due to violence, support for the victims’ families.

Data from Mexico’s National Public Security System reported cargo theft events increased 4 percent year-over-year in 2023 to 9,181 cases. Nearly 8,000 of these involved violence. Even more alarming, Mexico’s National Chamber of Cargo Transportation (CANACAR) revealed that at least 50 truck drivers have been killed on the country’s roadways by cargo thieves since 2023.

According to drivers who spoke with KTSM 9, the risks of violence and theft are worst in the central region of Mexico, on roadways between the cities of Puebla, Mexico City, and Zacatecas.

Officials with CANACAR sent a letter to Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador asking him to meet with its members. The association represents motor carriers who collectively represent over 500,000 truck drivers across the nation.

“Beyond the official figures, the reality is that the number of crimes committed against cargo transportation hurts us daily and the most worrying thing is the violence that is committed with the crimes,” the letter read. “We respectfully request a meeting … so that together we can reach a solution that allows us to travel with peace of mind and safety on the roads of Mexico.”

Final Thoughts

The decision from organizers to strike across Mexico has been looming over the last several weeks. In August, the labor-related action was postponed for three months after organizers credited the cooperation of Mexico’s government towards addressing their concerns.

However, it’s clear that this initial faith has worn off. Organizers have resorted to this extreme measure in an attempt to recapture the government’s focus on this grave matter.

If no progress is made between the two parties, it’s likely that nationwide strikes will continue to occur across Mexico. As trade increases between the country and the U.S., this labor action threatens to disrupt cross-border freight movement.

Contact one of our team members if you have any questions regarding this topic or any others in domestic logistics.

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