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Tricycles seized in Polanco; academic pays tribute to its importance

For many years, the cargo tricycle has been transportation, employment, and livelihood, not just in Mexico City, but in much of the country. For many people, pedaling became a way of living and making money, making money.

The versatility of these vehicles is one of the characteristics that makes it magical and attractive, especially for commerce, because on its three wheels, and regardless of the distance, it allows transporting people, food, or any kind of merchandise.

Currently, from dawn until nightfall, it is very common to observe hundreds of tricycles that circulate through the capital and offer all kinds of food, an option accessible to the pockets, this because in many areas with high purchasing power, the inhabitants of the capital They cannot afford food at restaurant cost and resort to the variety of meals that are prepared on a tricycle.

In the tricycles, the merchants sell the traditional tacos, tamales and atole or coffee with bread, chopped fruit, sweets, corn, and esquites, to which are added chilaquiles and other Mexican snacks, while in other cases bottled water or drinks and in many places in Mexico they are used to transport people.

But despite the fact that they are a source of employment, the capital’s authorities and the regulations establish that commerce on public roads is allowed as long as all the requirements are met, especially in terms of health issues.

A few days ago, the Director General of Government and Legal Affairs of the Mayor Miguel Hidalgo, Hegel Cortés Miranda, was criticized on social networks, after the seizure of 140 tricycles in the Polanco and Granada colonies, which, he said, would be destroyed.

This potential destruction of the devices became a central theme on social networks. Comments and opinions on the fate of tricycles met with widespread rejection.

Precisely, before this decision, a user on Twitter, the Mexican-Argentine, Julio Aibar, a passionate about photography and an academic by profession, decided to publish a series of photographs on his social networks that make visible the importance of the tricycle in the daily life of women. people who live in the state of Yucatán, a place that he visits frequently since he currently lives in Quintana Roo.

“With all this problems that arose, it seemed appropriate to make a tribute to have images that for many people the tricycle is essential,” he said.

Aibar acknowledged that the photographs, captured between 2019 and 2020, take on a new meaning and importance after the controversy that arose with the confiscation of the tricycles in the Polanco area.

In each of the black and white graphics, a technique that he became accustomed to since he developed his photos, Julio Aibar portrays the use that people give to tricycles either to transport themselves or as a means to sell a product.

Regarding the withdrawal of tricycles in Polanco and Granada, he added that “it is striking that the withdrawal is in certain high-income neighborhoods, I believe there is a different motivation to the extent, it seems to me that it is not only because of not complying with the rules, I believe that there are other motivations, “he added.

After the criticism received on social networks, the Miguel Hidalgo mayor’s office announced that instead of destroying the tricycles, they will donate them to bicycle associations and public markets so that they can place orders at home.

Selling bread and coffee in some areas of the CDMX can become the worst nightmare. His job is to pedal to sell bread and coffee in the streets of the Miguel Hidalgo mayor’s office. Like him, many other peddlers on a tricycle know that Polanco is a forbidden zone and, if they dare to ride through the neighborhood, they will have to spend more in bribes than in the fine to recover their work.

Andrés owns the tricycle that has fed his family for five years. Losing the vehicle would mean wasting at least six thousand pesos.

For this reason, it marks a border that should not be crossed and that is in the limits of Polanco, Lomas de Chapultepec and the Granada neighborhood.

They are, he says, the favorite places for street vendors, because in the area there are companies, offices and businesses with thousands of employees that make tricycles a thriving business. Therefore, those who are new to the business opted to enter areas like Polanco in times of pandemic.

They took risks and lost their tricycles, which ended up in a warehouse of the mayor’s office and whose referral was questioned by dozens of social media users, when the authorities announced the destruction of the vehicles.

The tricycles today form a mountain that exceeds the wall that delimits a property of the mayor’s office, located on Montes Altai street, in Lomas de Chapultepec.

There they end up together with thermos and baskets of the vendors who worked without the necessary permission and who were admonished 24 times. They are, for the most part, street vendors who crossed the border to Polanco.

Andrés knows it. He also sells on a tricycle, but is an employee of the owner of the vehicle, and travels the streets of Lomas de Chapultepec.

He is 24 years old and is an expert in getting around the police officers who watch over Miguel Hidalgo and who try to confiscate his mobile business every morning.

As a worker, confiscation would mean losing your job and the 600 pesos you earn per week. But for the owner, it would represent paying a thousand pesos between: fines, bribes to police officers and endless paperwork to rescue the tricycle without merchandise.

For this reason, Andrés has learned to pedal quickly to avoid the policemen. According to the worker, Miguel Hidalgo is the only mayor’s office in which the confiscation of a tricycle is notified verbally. There, the police do not give any document with which to go to claim the vehicle.

The fine is increased by the quotas established by the workers involved in the confiscation.

According to sellers, the recovery price depends on the merchandise you carry and the streets where the referral occurred.

Sometimes, they say, tricycle owners prefer to buy a new one than pay the fines, permits and “bites” to get them back.