Now, it can take all day — because of the checkpoints. She has to pass through at least 10 of them from five different government agencies.
“You waste more time on the freeway,” Salazar says. “More time is lost.”
Over the past few years, Mexico has ramped up its efforts to slow illegal activity — drug trafficking and unauthorized migration — along its 541-mile southern border with Guatemala. With help from the US government, Mexico has set up checkpoints near the border. It has also set up checkpoints on the highway stretching more than 100 miles north of the border, which has given rise to reports of endless commutes and extortion by corrupt officials. Salazar and other locals say Mexican officials use the checkpoints to line their own pockets.
“They are the criminals,” she said. “They say they’re ending corruption but they’re the corrupt ones.”