Imagine tons of explosives being stolen in Mexico and then transported by truck across the border into the United States. Could it happen? Over the weekend, it did. Almost.
On Friday, according to an article in the Latin American Herald Tribune, 18 tons of industrial explosives were stolen from a cargo container during a robbery along the Monterrey-Saltillo Highway in the northern Mexico state of Nuevo Leon. According to subsequent reports, Mexican officials located and recovered the stolen explosives within hours. The thieves, however, remain at large.
But should Americans rest easy now? Not after this near-miss event.
According to officials with the Mexican industry association, Canacar, thefts from cargo trucks on Mexico’s highways increased 40 percent last year.
North of the border, officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are calling upon the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to immediately challenge the legality of the tariffs implemented one year ago by Mexico so that the debate regarding cross-border trucking with Mexico can be shifted from economics to highway safety and security.
In a news release Tuesday, OOIDA officials said Mexico has yet to fully address numerous other issues related to homeland security, criminal activity and its trucking industry.
“Too many safety and security issues have yet to be resolved. Those issues certainly haven’t improved in the past year,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the 156,000-member OOIDA. “This is what officials from Mexico should be focused on, and our U.S. trade rep should not be bashful about telling it exactly that way.”