Photo: Union Pacific Fights Against Nearly $400 million in Fines for Drugs Smuggling
As a means of getting it across the U.S.-Mexico borders, cartels have been hiding illegal drugs on railway cars heading north, and now, the U.S. government is slapping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of fines against U.S. railroads, and they are refusing to pay.
The largest rail shipper at the U.S.-Mexico border, Union Pacific has received the bulk of the fines, being ordered to pay over $388 million. This is up from just $37.5 million three years ago at the start of border security’s program to x-ray all trains coming from Mexico into the U.S.
Union Pacific says it is being fined for something that is not its fault, and that it cannot control criminals hiding drugs on their trains in Mexico.
However, the U.S. Department of Justice claims that since UP owns 26 percent of Mexico’s Ferromex railway, it is responsible for controlling what is put on the trains.
UP said it cannot be expected to “send unarmed personnel into Mexico to battle Mexican drug cartels that maliciously murder and wage a war against the Mexican military.”
“Our actions should be applauded, not punished,’’ UP vice president Bob Grimaila told the Associated Press. Each year, UP spends $3.6 million on its own police officers, and had even used another $72.5 million supporting the federal governments efforts to improve security at the border.