Trucker beaten, load hijacked, and truck burned near border

| Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A trucker who was badly beaten by an armed man or group of men saw his load of limes stolen near the Mexico border last weekend.

The driver walked to a home near Texas State Highway 107 east of Edinburg in Hidalgo County, TX, on Saturday, Oct. 8, reportedly having “several large bumps on his head.” He told authorities that a group of men with rifles had hijacked his truck and beaten him.

His truck was later found on fire nearby.

As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made.

The incident is yet another news story showing the likely spillover of more Mexican drug cartel violence, though no direct connection between Saturday’s incident and drug cartels has been reported.

Some media reports about the hijacking have included conflicting information.

An early report from Valley Central News said the driver stated he was beaten and forced from the truck by multiple men with long rifles. A later news report said “at least one armed man” took the truck by force.

Several trucking companies have warned their drivers to avoid stopping in the Rio Grande Valley region due to Mexican drug cartel violence, and several truckers told KRGV-News they were sticking to main roads.

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, trucking companies should enforce a no stop policy for their drivers when possible, “especially within two to three hours of the trip origin.”

Sheriff Lupe Trevino did not return phone messages left by Land Line.

Earlier this year, the Christian Science Monitor reported that Mexican cartels were driving up the prices of limes and other produce by enforcing their own tax on the goods.

The April article said part of the cartel’s strategy involved hijacking shipping trucks.

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