Iván Mateluna, president of the Federation of Truck Owners of the Valparaíso Region (Fedequinta), accused heavy cargo transport of being the victim of at least seven robberies and looting per day on the routes that connect the area’s ports with the Santiago Region.
“There are about seven trucks a day that practically plunder. In Santiago I don’t even count, that is, there are not even statistics on the number of trucks that are stolen. On the routes they also continue to steal from us, so we’re waiting now for the meeting with the board of directors and then, surely, with the basis for making the determination,” he said.
Mateluna accused that, after the social outburst of October 18, the insecurity on the roads increased. In this sense, the drivers see their traffic interrupted on the roads by the placement of barricades.
“After the social crisis, yes, it increased. We thought – at first – that this was only going to be in the commercial premises because of the anger that people had, but the truth is that today they put up barricades, they stop the truck and the driver can’t do anything. They open the box behind the containers, cut the seals and steal our merchandise and this has been happening for quite some time. Unfortunately, today it has become more acute, because we have no police force to help us. Carabineros are now outnumbered, they cannot help us and, unfortunately, we are left in this extremely complex situation. We believe that the time will come when we will have to hit the table hard, because it is not giving us enough to continue surviving as long as we do not have security or peace of mind to work,” he emphasized.
The union leader described that the assaults occur both on Route 78 from San Antonio to Santiago and on Route 68, which links the capital to Valparaiso, which is why the cargo transport could add additional hours of inactivity to the third shift they are no longer performing for safety reasons or other measures.
“We are seriously considering not only stopping working the third shift, but perhaps definitely making a force for the transport union to be able to benefit from this difficult situation, that nobody is doing anything for safety on the road or for our drivers who are on top of the trucks,” said Mateluna.
The leader of the transport union in the Valparaiso Region said that, faced with this situation, they are defenseless, since neither the concessionaires nor the State, through the Government or the police, have been able to provide a solution to end the criminal acts on the roads.
“We have been with a general of Carabineros, with mayors, and we have not had any solution. Therefore, we believe that we will have to make our own decisions and show them that we need order to be restored here in Chile,” he stressed.
“We are going to make an extension, a large consultation here in the Valparaiso Region and we are going to make decisions that we may not like, but they will be the ones we will have to make,” concluded Iván Mateluna.