Reporte Indigo - Narcos Infiltrate Uber
Drug cartels operating in the metropolitan area of Nuevo León infiltrated Uber; Elements of the AEI have evidence linking some of its operators with factions of Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel
By Jesús Padilla - Monday, June 19, 2017
It started as a safer transportation alternative, but now Uber looks unsafe.
Drug cartels operating in in the metropolitan area have infiltrated Uber, which has resulted in the executions and kidnapping of drivers of this private form of transportation.
So far three Uber drivers have been executed, one more was reported as missing and another killed when shot at by organized crime.
Elements of the State Agency of Investigations (AEI) have evidence linking Uber drivers with factions of the Cartel de Los Zetas and Gulf Cartel, information that has been collected over the past six months.
A first case occurred in December of last year after a complaint made by relatives of Gustavo Saavedra Perez, who was kidnapped and found executed in the trunk of a vehicle registered as an Uber.
The AEI suspects that this crime wis drug related.
Another case that shows the entry of organized crime into Uber occurred in March, when agents of the AEI found Mauricio Huerta, 30, who was the driver of this private transport, cut into pieces.
Huerta was beheaded and his body dismembered for allegedly selling drugs to a rival group of organized crime in the municipality of Santa Catarina, and agents also found a narcomensaje.
On the carboard banner, the killers warn members of the Cartel del Noreste (CDN) designated as El Venado, El Azul and El Titote, who are engaged in extortion and kidnapping in Nuevo León. The message was allegedly signed by the Dorado Group and Commander 25 of the Old School of Los Zetas.
During the most critical time in the fight against drug trafficking, undertaken by former President Felipe Calderón, Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel used ecotaxis for their operations in the metropolitan area of this entity.
They formed three divisions within their organizations using this type of transportation. Taxis were used to distribute small doses of drugs in bars and streets. Another was in charge of collecting the profits, that was later given to the person in charge of the Zona in a safehouse.
And one more group was dedicated to spying on the members of Mexican Army, Federal Police and Navy, that patrolled colonias and avenues of the metropolitan area of Nuevo Leon.
For drug sales?
In May, the investigation by the State Agency of Investigations (AEI) found that a Uber driver was involved in a problem related to retail drug sales, so he was executed by two ex-cops.
The driver identified as Jorge Manuel Alfaro Domínguez, 30, alias "El Cubano", had a drug debt, and when he could not pay, he was murdered by the ex-uniformados, who were imprisoned for the crime of qualified homicide.
In this act a client survived the attack, and managed to give testimony about the execution, so everything indicates that Uber is being used for drug sales in the metropolitan area.
The two expolicías and a woman were linked to members of a band linked to the drug sale. In May, a taxi driver was also shot when hitmen tried to execute him as he arrived at his home in Escobedo.
The Attorney General's Office suspects that some Uber drivers would be involved in drug transport, narco-trafficking, robbery and other activities related to organized crime.
Authorities have also linked at least three homicides, one attempted murder and one disappearance, all related to drivers of this transportation service.
Regularize the platform
Now that organized crime has infiltrated Uber taxis, today the local Congress would have to move forward to regulate the operation of this platform, because there are two laws that are "frozen" in Congress.
These are the Law of Transport for the Sustainable Mobility of the State of Nuevo León and a reform initiative called the Private Passenger Transportation System Via Internet.
This is the new strategy of narcos, to use Uber as part of their operations, to collect and move information and transport themselves in these autos.
Uber drivers in recent weeks have been involved in violent acts such as attacks and kidnappings.
Approving these laws would allow greater control over Uber's cars, and would promote free markets with ecotaxis, which are currently monopolized by labor federations such as the CTM and CROC, who hold the majority the taxis concessions.
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