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Report details increasing involvement of Mexican drug cartels in train robberies

June 16, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Report details increasing involvement of Mexican drug cartels in train robberies Train derailment in Veracruz, Mexico

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The probe into the recent train derailment in Veracruz, Mexico reveals the increased involvement of drug cartels in train robberies to broaden their illicit income.

In the first three months of 2018, a study released by the Mexican government reported more cartel-connected train robberies than in all of last year combined.

Between January and March of this year, Mexico had 852 train thefts reported.

That figure is close to seven times higher than the 125 reported during the same period last year. In only three months, Mexico registered more train robberies than the 720 robberies that were recorded in 2017.

“Train robberies have become a national problem,” Mexican Congressman and former Chairman of the Bicameral Commission for National Security Waldo Fernandez said in an interview with Breitbart Texas.

“It is concerning the lack of attention this is getting from the federation and that none of the candidates have spoken out about it. An attack on a train is an affront to the Mexican state.”

The increase in train robberies and derailments occur at a time when cartels have expanded their operations from drug trafficking into human smuggling, human trafficking, abduction, and extortion.

Business heads in Mexico are worried that unless the government addresses the problem promptly, it will continue to expand.

One of the most recent deliberate derailments occurred last month in the municipality of Orizaba, Veracruz, where a group of gunmen broke the train’s brake lines in an attempt to rob part of a shipment of 2,000 tons of corn and sorghum.

The train was comprised four engine cars and 39 container cars that moved at least 6 miles without brakes until it crashed into another train. The accident led to the derailment of 17 train cars, killing one of the drivers, and wounded four crew members. The collision also caused significant damage to the surrounding area.

In recent weeks, Mexican authorities dealt with six separate train wrecks between Puebla and Veracruz. The crashes were caused by criminals removing rails or placing rocks on the tracks to steal the cargo.

Breitbart Texas reported that a cartel faction referring to itself as “Sangre Nueva Zeta” as being the one behind the train robberies in Veracruz, Tlaxcala, and Puebla.

Law enforcement officials are searching for Roberto “El Bukanas” De Los Santos de Jesus, a former municipal officer turned regional head of the SNZ.

In the Mexican states of Guanajuato and Queretaro, the assaults on trains are executed by the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).

The gunmen hold the trains at gunpoint or through derailments to take containers of fuel from refineries to other parts of the nation.

The reason behind the increase in attacks on trains is not apparent, however, last year, a magazine associated with Al Qaeda released an 18-page manual on how to derail trains in the U.S. and Europe.

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