Millions of merchants pay “protection fees” to criminal groups to work on the streets

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The collection of these ‘fees’ unleashes violence that leaves hundreds of dead each year and takes a fortune from the public treasury.

More than half of employment in Mexico is informal, millions of people are dedicated to selling on the streets and street markets where you can find everything, food, clothing and footwear, technology, china, flowers, perfumes, jewelry or laces. shoes, anything you can think of, and even more if you have imagination. 

Virtually all of them are extorted by crime or local bosses, who force them to pay “the floor” for their commercial activity. It is common in the news to say that a motorcyclist approaches one of these vendors and, without removing his helmet, pulls out his gun and kills him. 

Everyone knows the reason: the unfortunate man refused or was unable to pay the criminal tax that, perhaps, that same motorist comes to collect every week. 

In recent times, Polleros have been the target of bullets. In the market of Toluca, the capital of the State of Mexico, they have hired private security because they are fed up with extortions and kidnappings that the authorities cannot stop. 

Harassed for decades by drug trafficking, organized crime has been penetrating other activities and leaving behind its usual trail of murders. From time to time, a market burns down, merchandise warehouses leave visible smoke throughout the city, shootings. And fatigue, which translates into more bullets.

Click here to read the complete original article by Carmen Morán on El Pais

Source: El Pais

The Mexico City Post