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191. TUCURA LTDA (COOTRANSTUR). A TRANSPORTERS CO-OPERATIVE

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Coop Name: COOPERATIVA DE TRANSPORTADORES TUCURA LTDA N° of Employees: 109
City: Monter N° of Members: 109
Country: Colombia Year of formation: 1976
About this coop:

Tucura Ltda (COOTRANSTUR) is a transportation co-operative for intermodal road transport for both goods and people.

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The transporters co-operative Tucura Ltda (COOTRANSTUR) was founded on 13th September 1976 and named after an indigenous tribe (Tucura) that lived in the region of the upper reaches of the Sinú river. They transported timber and corn by rafts which slid down the river Sinú pushed by its currents up to the river ports of Montería, Lorica and others. The natives were called “los bajones de tucura” (grasshoppers jumping down) and, when they came back with food, “los suben de tucura” (grasshoppers jumping up). Natives of the Tucura tribe went down the river Sinú in the region of Córdoba and in the municipality of Montería, where they bartered and exchanged goods with other peoples.

Once delivered to the different ports of the municipalities reached by the Sinú river (whose water flows from the upper reaches of the basin), the crops were transported to different places in the region. This activity led to the creation of a new company, which was deliberately given the name “Tucura”. It was the first name of the co-operative and of the organisation, which penetrated in the informal market economy and later joined the solidarity sector.

The co-operative was started by 7 economic actors. Today the company has 109 associates standing out as excellent businessmen and professionals in the transport business, and thus strengthening the solidarity-based economy. They joined the transporters’ union to overcome the obstacles the business had to face. Some of these include: Piracy and disadvantageous laws that threaten legally started transport companies; enormous increases in the price of vehicles, spare parts and supplies; abuse of authority; lack of safety and decline in law and order that caused important financial damages to vehicle owners.

That is why we led a strike in the transport sector in 1998, in order to demand the local administration to repair and signpost streets and bus stops, to reduce the surcharge and tax percentage on petrol etc. The result was an important bilateral agreement between the contrasting sides, which was later broken by the municipality of Montería. Since we weren’’t satisfied with the results, we aimed to the public corporations and we still keep on fighting for our goals.

Our aim is to provide the disadvantaged communities living in the region of Córdoba with transport services. We are responsible for generating the surplus needed to improve social services for our associates, to make possible an integral development of our partnerships, and the social and financial growth of our organisation. To sum up, our purpose is to develop a business strategy oriented to a high quality service, thus leading to the optimization of our processes.

Author of this story
RAFAEL ENRIQUE CUADRADO MARTINEZ
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