I came across quite a read earlier this week by way of the Oregon-based Salem News, one that paints a clear portrait of a Mexican hauler’s day-to-day business and the exceedingly difficult circumstances South of the border — largely a by-product of the drug cartels’ control of territory and corrupt federal and inept local governments.
“Regularly, Rafa [whose first name only was used to protect his identify, “for obvious reasons,” as runs an editorial introduction] travels the danger zones of his country, across the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Tamaulipas, ‘perhaps the most dangerous’ place of all. Tierra Brava in Mexican lingo,” writes Kent Paterson, author on the project of the Frontera NorteSur border news service, part of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. “In the Monterrey area, business soured when gangs of extortionists began demanding money from owners of truck fleets in the 20-50 vehicle range, worked down the chain to those with 15-20 trucks and eventually vamped on the small mom-and-pop owner with just one truck, according to Rafa.”
However, the longtime operator in some ways sounds quite familiar to many a U.S. hauler when he describes the position of independents and small fleets in the country. This is Paterson, quoting the driver, at the end of the story: ““People eat or drink a soda and don’t know where it comes from…. We truckers are invisible to Mexican society. We are indispensable but invisible.”
Well worth the read: Check out the full story here.