Mexican highways blocked by truckers protesting violent robberies

 Truckers protested on busy highways outside Mexico City on Thursday in protest against a wave of killings of drivers during highway robberies.

Trucks either moved very slowly or blocked some lanes of traffic. The protest was organized by the Mexican Alliance of Drivers Organization, known by its initials AMOTAC, which is demanding the government increase highway patrols.

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A banner on a truck read, "Mexico's highways are stained with blood."

Thieves have long stolen trucks on highways in central Mexico, but usually abandon the drivers and their trucks after stealing the cargo they were carrying. But now, industry groups say, gangs often kill drivers and take trucks to sites where they are stripped and sold for parts.

The Interior Department issued a statement Thursday saying negotiations with other truckers' groups had led to agreements for more patrol cars.

But it claimed that the Amotac protests were "unwarranted and unfounded, given that negotiations are ongoing to resolve the issues they raise."

The group is also demanding more oversight or restrictions on certain types of double-semi trailers, which they say are dangerous, and the elimination of certain types of fees, charges or tolls.

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