Mexico: Criminal gangs target bus drivers

Forensic officers and Mexcian Navy personnel at a crime scene where a bus driver was killed

Mexico's notorious criminal gangs apparently have a new target - bus drivers.

They're operating protection rackets, forcing minibus drivers to pay anything between £10 and £125 per week to ensure their safety, according to the newspaper El Universal. Two operators driving the same route near Mexico City have been killed in the last week for supposedly having ignored demands for protection, the report suggests. Another driver was apparently kidnapped nearby after his boss refused to cough up, and was only released after $50,000 (£32,000) was handed over. Others have seen their vehicles burned for non-payment.

While drivers say they know the names of the gangs involved, it's highly unlikely that criminals will face the music. Figures published by the Mexican government's own central statistics office show that there were around 27,500 murders in the country last year, of which only 2% resulted in successful prosecutions.

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