News 3 commentslast update:6 Aug 2012

Mexican families make business from stealing maize

In Mexico maize theft is the latest trend. Trading stolen maize is so lucrative that people even give up their regular job for participating in the grains fraud, daily newspaper Reforma reports.

In the city of Celaya families have specialised in robbing trains that transport maize. “On average every three days a train is robbed”, the newspaper said.
The police chief of Celaya said the raids occur at night and in each incident between 50 and 100 tonnes of maize is stolen. "They transport the maize to warehouses and sell it throughout the region," Escobar said.
Robbing a train is done through a fixed pattern. The train driver is bribed and he stops the train at a negotiated place, they outlet valve under a wagon is opened and the train drives away leaving a trail of hundreds of metres of maize kernels.
This way tonnes of maize gushes out of the trailer over a long distance. Who wants to gather the maize has to pay the thieves 500 to 1,000 peso (€30 to €60).
The trade is very profitable for the bandits. Weekly they earn around 5,000 peso, while a normal job only brings 1,500 peso per week.
Several people in the village have left their regular job to go maize robbing.
One of the bandits denies that the maize is stolen because of hunger or because it has become too expensive. “The grain is stolen because it is good business. You earn good money.”

Dick Ziggers


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    Laura Piavani

    Do you really think people preffer to be thieves without any rights? Do you think Mexicans are happy not to have a well paid job? Would you like to see your children killed because they joined drug dealers because they had no other living options? Many have to drop school because they can not afford it, our politicians have 1st world wages but they do not do their job, they ally with criminals to keep on stealing this country. Now we see a fight not between good and bad, but bad and worse.

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    Dr Karina Campos

    Unfortunately, some millions of medium class mexicans work very hard and have generally not the time or necessarily the english skills to read your news. What do you call a trend? In relation to which other products? Which other markets or commodities? Do you have the numbers? Why do you start with : in Mexico...
    Please, we only ask a bit of professionalism in journalism reporting, serious contextualizing and relativizing, It's pretty discusting for those interested on your site, reading your subtle framing of superlatives and we have enough problems to deal with many other unprofessionals in Mexico, such as Reforma and more urgent problems. So while millions of mexicans are working hard, you just cite another regional newspaper (I coulnd't find your reference in the newspaper by the way) and from here you name this: in the whole country!

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    Elias Isaac

    Is it a big trend, or just the city of Celaya? We heard something similar from Brazil. Then one has to start to think stop buying from these countries.

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