HomeTop HeadlinesFour Bus and Taxi Drivers Shot and Killed 

Four Bus and Taxi Drivers Shot and Killed 

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On Monday, February 5, 2024, in the city of Chilpancingo, Guerrero State, in southern Mexico, four bus and taxi drivers were killed in what appears to be well-coordinated attacks by unidentified gunmen.

In recent years, the Mexican state of Guerrero has been a battleground for control among drug cartels, with extortion of “protection” fees from local businesses, including transportation services, being a common tactic employed by these criminal entities. 

January saw a crescendo of unrest as drivers in Acapulco and Taxco, another historic city within Guerrero, ceased operations in protest against the ongoing assassinations of their peers. 

State prosecutors have launched an investigation into Monday’s killings, with support from the army and National Guard to bolster security in the beleaguered city. Details on the victims’ roles within the transportation industry remain sparse, though reports suggest at least two were minivan operators targeted while aboard their vehicles.

Transportation workers across Guerrero have found themselves ensnared in a relentless cycle of extortion and violence, with some even coerced into serving the very gangs that threaten their livelihoods. 

Despite the state’s significant military and National Guard presence, a measure intended to stabilize the region, the threat to drivers persists unabated. 

The tourist town of Taxco experienced a halt in transport services in late January as drivers went on strike in response to gang threats, forcing police to transport civilians in patrol vehicles. 

Acapulco’s transport sector has similarly suffered, with gang-induced threats halting nearly 90% of the city’s passenger vans earlier in the year. 

Acapulco’s turmoil is not new; the city has been ensnared in gang conflict since 2006, with factions vying for dominance over drug trafficking routes and extortion rackets targeting local businesses and transport operators.

The violence is not confined to buses and taxis; truck drivers have also faced increased dangers. Reports of violent highway robberies, often resulting in the murder of drivers, have prompted the Mexican-American Federation of Truck Drivers and other industry groups to call for action. 

Although a scheduled protest on a major highway outside Mexico City was averted following promises of dialogue with federal officials, the threat to transport workers remains a pressing concern.

Criminal gangs have escalated their operations, no longer merely hijacking trucks for their cargo but also murdering drivers and dismantling vehicles for parts. 

The state of Guerrero, with its stunning coastal resorts and historic towns, continues to struggle with the dual challenges of natural disasters and organized crime.

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