Guanajuato holds the third national place in production of pork and cattle with more than 800 thousand heads, and last year, it was the second state in the country with more cattle robberies, only after Tabasco.
Local cattle rancher Eduardo Torres says that the criminals steal sheep, goats, calves, pigs, horses or “whatever comes their way. ”
In 2016, 405 cattle robberies were reported, and from January to September 2017, 280 cattle robberies were reported to the state authorities.
Paulo Bañuelos, Secretary of Agrifood and Rural Development of the government of Guanajuato, describes that cattle are stolen violently; “Sometimes they have tied or injured locals, taking away the in pick up trucks”.
For the low income population in the state of Guanajuato, livestock is their only asset and means of supporting their families.
A head of cattle can cost around 45 thousand pesos, a stallion, or a dairy cow, 20 thousand pesos. The kilo of meat sells between 40 and 50 pesos.
Since November 1 2017, it is mandatory that all cattle bore an identification tag with a barcode. But this doesn’t help much, because the thieves just cut off the animal’s ear with the tag.
“These criminals sometimes sacrifice the cattle right there on the field”, says Rodolfo Ponce Ávila another local cattle rancher, “they just kill them on site, butcher them and take only the meat, leaving hide and viscera. This situation is more recurrent in remote areas, and many of these incidents are not even reported to the authorities”
“The stolen beef is sold in the black market”, says Ponce Ávila, “and it is usually acquired by “small time taqueros” that could be located anywhere in the state”.
In León, there are more than five thousand registered breeders and 600 rural communities dedicated to breed cattle.
Luis Enrique Ramírez, Public Safety Secretary of León, Guanajuato, points out that, within the León Municipal Police, there is “a rural police department”, that is exclusively dedicated to protect these communities, making periodical revisions of the animals, and the vehicles that transport them.
The municipalities where the most cattle robberies are reported are San Felipe, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo and Apaseo el Grande.
Source: SMT Newsroom with information from Televisa