Human traffickers, who are finding increasingly creative ways to shuttle Central American migrants through Mexico to the U.S. border, have begun to use the Uber ride-sharing service, Reuters reports.
On June 10, five vehicles carrying 34 Central American migrants were apprehended while traveling together between the northern Mexican states of Zacatecas and Coahuila, said Segismundo Doguin, a Coahuila state official at the National Migration Institute (INM).
Four of the vehicles were linked to the Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] platform, Doguin said, but it was unclear whether the human smugglers had hailed the drivers using the Uber app. The drivers said they weren’t the owners of the cars but worked as Uber chauffeurs, he said.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of Central American children and families trying to reach the United States this year, a hot button issue in the U.S. presidential race. Republican candidate Donald Trump has vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to keep them out.
Mexican migration officials attribute the increase to migrants finding new routes past checkpoints, increasingly through varied forms of transport.
“First we saw them on trains, then on buses, then on trucks and today we see them in rented vehicles,” Doguin told Reuters by telephone on Wednesday.
The drivers left the northern Mexican city of Monterrey and picked up the migrants in Matehuala, 323 kilometers (201 miles) further south, Doguin said. The caravan was headed for the city of Reynosa, 551 kilometers (342 miles) north, on the border with Texas.
The migrants told investigators they each paid 3,000 pesos ($162) to make the journey, Doguin said.
Uber Mexico said in a statement it bore no responsibility, but was cooperating with authorities.
“The company does not own the cars registered on the platform, nor does it employ the drivers, who are independent contractors,” Uber said.
Only three of the drivers were registered in the database, Uber said. One of them was dismissed nine months ago for unrelated reasons. The other two were discharged when the INM flagged the situation, the company said.
This is not the first time Uber cars have been used to ferry migrants, Doguin said.
“About two months ago, seven other vehicles were detected in the area of San Luis Potosi state … and were also in the Uber system,” he said.
($1 = 18.5198 pesos)
more recommended stories
Quintana Roo will have Port Facilities Protection Code
“As part of the security adjustments.
Mexico celebrates Benito Juarez “The Lincoln of Mexico”
Benito Juarez’s birthday (March 21) is.
Presidential candidate José A. Meade warns about influence of organized crime in Mexican elections
One of the concerns for this.
K’u’uk: contemporary cuisine or pure alchemy?
Acknowledged at the Food and Travel.
Mérida, one of the best cities to live in Mexico (and the world)
Dan Prescher wrote an article for.
Hacienda Kancabchén: a call from a distant era just 15 miles away from Mérida
Hacienda Kancabchén maintains great part of.
Amazon launches new debit card in México
MEXICO CITY.- Banorte and Mastercard, together.
Over two thousand dogs and cats have been vaccinated in Valladolid
With the installation of seven locations.
Yucatecan pelicans and flamingos on the brink of becoming endangered species
“Pelicans and flamingos are some of.
Teacher Leaders Present an Innovative Blueprint for Relevant Learning in the Age of AI
What does the fourth industrial revolution.