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Crime and its “tax collection”

OPINION: Criminals charge up to MXN$300 thousand pesos for “right of use” invoking police protection
Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
Mexico City
Newspaper leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Tax payment is one of democratic societies cornerstone; it is a necessary condition in the search for distributing the country's wealth in a consistent fashion. It must be intended for better infrastructure and community services. Societies have designated these efforts to the state.

However, for the past few years, some cities within the country have decided to collect their “taxes” as well. By way of extortion or “right of use,” a monthly payment is demanded to commercial facilities in order to offer “security” or avoid aggressions.

This practice has begun to be denounced more frequently in Mexico City, capital of the country, which seemed to be alien to this kind of phenomenon.

Storage room proprietaries in Mexico City's Supply Center (Central de Abasto) exposed to this daily the situation they face. They state that since 2014 they have to assign a monthly fee to pay people who claim to be part of an organized crime cartel.

The situation in this supply center is added to the one exposed by some tenants from the Sonora Market and Meave Mall in downtown Mexico.

It is up to authorities to investigate if indeed there are criminal gangs or copycats who seek to spread the unfortunate situation experienced in other parts of the country in Mexico City.

Until now they wreak havoc, which should not be taken lightly, generate economic losses to merchants, that in the end are covered irreparably by the consumer, and in some cases the closure of those who cannot comply with the fee payment.

Lessening the facts and not act now to eradicate this type of extortion can be a serious mistake to be regretted in the future, for it would mean the possible empowerment of small gangs which in the long term would become something of a bigger issue.

To let them expand in Mexico City would represent relinquishing spaces where later on will be no other law that the one dictated by them. It begins with the decline of an area and, with the passing of time, bigger territories are vanquished by the crime's will.

It is not fair that merchants or small entrepreneurs have to pay this “criminal tax,” apart from risking their goods by starting a business and covering the many charges demanded by authorities.

The government is required to investigate and take action against those who are pointed out by those affected, without veiling, disguising and manipulating a reality impossible to hide.


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