Sunday, March 20, 2011

We should let Mexican trucks drive from where?

A police commander in Ciudad Juarez was attacked last week by drug sicarios (killers), one of whom was a municipal police officer in the traffic department. The commander repelled the assassins, and later they were arrested. According to Borderland Beat
An armed attack against the commander of the group "Delta" of the Ciudad Juárez Municipal Police, resulted in an immediate response from the corporation on that border city, as it is reported that three of the sicarios were arrested in relation to the attack.

Here's why we care: In another front in the War on Workers, the U.S. Department of Transportation wants to pit American truck drivers against lower-paid Mexican drivers by opening the border to Mexican trucks. American jobs would be lost, highway safety compromised and border security weakened. But multinational corporations with operations in Mexico want the border opened. What the multinationals want, the multinationals get.

Mexican trucks are generally dirty and decrepit and drivers don't have to meet the same standards as U.S. drivers. The Teamsters have complained for 19 years that opening the border would endanger American motorists. The DOT replies that only clean, new trucks and safe drivers will be allowed free use of U.S. highways.

How will DOT know Mexican drivers are safe? Why, they'll depend on Mexican safety records. Like the ones submitted by traffic police in Juarez who are busy trying to assassinate their commanders.

As we've said before, U.S. transportation officials would be nuts to depend on Mexican police for information about Mexican truck drivers' safety records.

And by the way, Juarez is the most dangerous city in the world, with an estimated 3,100 people killed in drug violence last year. It's right across the river from El Paso. Mexidata describes Juarez as
...a city under siege. Cartels, gangs, and criminals of every stripe battle each other, the police and military, and at times attack civilians in a brutal “feral” cityscape.
The Teamsters think that making it easier for narco-terrorists to smuggle guns, drugs and human cargo from Juarez is a very bad idea.