Crime now resorts to motorcycles for murders, assaults and extortion

On the morning of May 26 in Acayucan, veracruza couple of criminals who were traveling in a motorcycle They arrived at the party room where he was Clement Nagasaki, president of the municipal DIF. One of the attackers entered the place and, in the middle of a public event, shot the official to death.

Although the crime in Nagasaki is considered the one with the greatest impact in southern Veracruz so far this year, the authorities warned about a phenomenon that is in vogue: Close to 90 percent of armed attacks in this region are committed by motorcyclists, who almost always flee.

Until August 2022, the Coatzacoalcos Citizen Observatory recorded more than 46 homicides committed aboard motorcycles in the municipalities of Minatitlán, Acayucan, Agua Dulce, Las Choapas, Nanchital and Cosoleacaque.

In all these municipalities it is common for motorcyclists to attack businesses. Like in Minatitlán, where they shot at a hotel, a gynecology clinic, an aquarium, a tortilla shop, and a meat business. The reason: not paying floor rights. Governor Cuitláhuac García himself has recognized that the main crime in Veracruz is extortion.

Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla, governor of Michoacán, also admits that, in the most populated cities of the state, the motorcycle has become a widely used vehicle for steal and kill. So in March, he proposed a bill to require motorcyclists to wear their license plates on helmets and vests. The proposal, however, was not well received by the motorcycle associations and they are still working on one that “does not violate” human rights.

According to information from Morenista deputy Juan Carlos Barragán, 90 percent of motorcycles are not registered in the Michoacan vehicle register. Hence it is common robbery and homicide in Zamora or Jacona with the help of a motorcycle. In an operation that took place in January in both municipalities, the authorities seized 81 motorcycles. Most had alterations in their means of identification.

Regulatory loopholes (the lack of a reliable registry and permits from other entities) are also exploited by criminals in Mexico City. Hence, the crimes committed on board motorcycles have increased in 2022, compared to the three previous years. According to the report of the Secretary of Citizen Security (SSC), currently, before the Public Ministry, 7.3 motorcycles are presented per day (in 2021, 6.1 were presented).

consulted by MILLENNIUM, The president of the CdMx Citizen Council for Security and Justice, Salvador Guerrero, believes that, as a first step, authorities and dealers must agree that motorcycles are packed immediately after purchase. The local deputy Gonzalo Espina, for his part, has presented an initiative for the chip installation and the creation of an electronic record. In the capital, where almost nine million people live, there are more than 400,000 registered motorcycles, according to the Ministry of Mobility.

In Sinaloa, where barely three million people live, registered motorcycles went from 100,288 in 2018 to 142,375 in 2021. The increase goes hand in hand with the assaults committed above all in Culiacán, where 33 percent of the motorcycles are concentrated. It is recurring that students and workers are surprised at public transport stops. The testimonies of assaults contrast with the local authority, which denies the rise in cases because no complaints are filed.

“At the corner of my house, some motorcyclists have robbed three people,” denounced Guadalupe, a neighbor of the Barrancos sector.

In recent days, a 29-second video circulated showing how two attackers, in the Nuevo Culiacán sector, subdue a young man and take away his phone. They struggled, threatened him, and then withdrew.

Pedro César Rojas Ibarra, Secretary of Public Security and Traffic of Culiacán, considers that many of the crimes they are being committed on stolen motorcycleswhich is why they are carrying out operations to remove vehicles that are not in order from circulation.

In San Luis Potosí there is information that motorcycles have been used in 80 percent of assaults and executions. One of these armed attacks occurred in Rioverde, in July: an attack was made against personnel from the State Commission for the Search of Persons and groups of searching mothers.

According to data from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), in the period from January to September 2022, 1,153 motorcycles have been stolen in San Luis Potosí. Of these robberies, 221 were violent. Most of the stolen units were used for crime.

“I still hadn’t finished paying for it at Elektra when it was stolen from me,” one of the victims complained. “I kept paying it because they threatened me.”

Cases of “levantones” have also been reported. On August 31, as seen in a security video, two men on a motorcycle moved a body that they dumped on the sidewalk of a downtown neighborhood in the capital of San Luis Potosí.

The same phenomenon is occurring in Cajeme and Empalme, the Sonoran municipalities with the most murders carried out by what they call “motosicarios”.

One of the first cases that became relevant in Empalme happened in June 2019: while taking the body of her 16-year-old son to the municipal cemetery, a woman was shot to death by motorcyclists. The young man died at the hands of other men also aboard a motorcycle. With the same modus operandi, in February 2022, the communicator Jorge Camero, who was in a gym, was riddled with bullets.

A thousand kilometers from Sonora, in Tijuana, killings with the help of motorcycles also increased. So far this year there have been 54 attacks. In some cases they have used backpacks and clothing labeled with the name of mobile applications that are dedicated to food delivery.

According to the Baja California Prosecutor’s Office, 31 murders have been committed with this modus operandi, known in Tijuana as: “the Colombia style.” In all cases, the aggressors are men.

In Cancun it is also called “the Colombian style”. According to the local prosecutor’s office, four out of every ten murders in Cancun are committed by attackers aboard moving motorcycles.

In Guanajuato there are no figures on the number of crimes committed by motorcycle crew members, but citizens admit to feeling afraid when motorcyclists stop next to them.

“I always turn around in the street with fear, especially when I see a motorcycle approaching,” says Josefina, who was robbed along with her daughter by two motorcyclists.

“The new type of crime is on a motorcycle,” says David Saucedo, a security specialist from Guanajuato. The cities where the most crimes are committed on motorcycles are those in the industrial corridor: Celaya, Salamanca, Irapuato and León.

In Tlaxcala police reports, the record of criminals who use motorcycles to commit crimes is becoming more frequent. Sergio González, Secretary of Government, recognized it in August, although the problem dates back to 2020.

The same modus operandi has been seen in Tlaxcala, Chiautempan, Apizaco, San Pablo del Monte, Cuapiaxtla, Altzayanca, Contla, Zacatelco, Ixtacuixtla, San Martín Texmelucan (Puebla) and Tepetitla.

Another area where the motorcycle is a central character in robberies is in Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca: 14 assaults are committed in this modality every month.

Cristian Reyes, Commissioner of Public Security, says that 60 percent of the victims have reported violence. “Crimes did not occur in this area and now we have more than 40 cases in a few months.”

Violence has also increased on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. So far in 2022, 33 homicides and more than 256 intentional injuries have been reported. The municipalities with the greatest increase in these crimes are: Salina Cruz, Tehuantepec, Juchitán and San Pedro Tapanatepec in the eastern part of Oaxaca.

Only in Baja California Sur and in Campeche has motorcycle theft been reduced, but this still does not contribute to the decrease in violence.

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