Colombian extortionists take over Mexico

19/03/2019
|
09:20
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Colombian extortionists take over Mexico
Colombian criminals pose as businesspeople and then extortion Mexican business owners - Photo: Edgard Garrido/REUTERS

Colombian extortionists take over Mexico

19/03/2019
09:20
Mexico City
Editorial
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One of the biggest threats is that the bands could import more aggressive crimes or establish alliances with Mexican criminals

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In the world of crime, there are felonies that rise from time to time. From pyramid schemes used to defraud unsuspecting victims that are lured by the promise to multiply their money, as well as telephone extortion that recently reached its peak but it is now declining.

Currently, there is a new type of crime that is taking over the country. It is a new extortion method, known as “drop by drop”; it is an imported crime. According to official information, this crime is led by Colombians who arrive in Mexico through Cancun, they have expanded to the southeast, then the center and now the north of the country.

Their modus operandi is the following. The Colombians pose as businesspeople, they get in touch with small business owners, mainly those in street markets or those who own established stalls in markets; Colombians offer them loans from MXN $5,000 and up to MXN $500,000, with the false promise that the interests are low; they don't request a guarantee, bank references, or any other type of collateral.

The loan is granted without any issue. The problems arise when they demand payments. They are higher than expected and they include threats, physical violence, and even murder. For the debtors, the situation becomes intolerable; the loan is paid back with high interests, but the payments never end. There are cases where the debtors have committed suicide, in the face of the pressure the Colombian criminals exert over them.

This crime is taking over a large part of the country. It is not a minor threat, therefore, authorities should prevent this crime to be established in the country.

One of the biggest threats, if authorities don't act to prevent this extortion method, is that the bands could import much more aggressive crimes or establish alliances with Mexican criminals. So far, the contact between Colombians and Mexicans has been a “rent payment” in Mexico City by Colombians, in order to operate in areas dominated by the Unión Tepito cartel.

The undertone of this crime is the need, of a large part of society, for resources for their businesses or money to face emergencies. Nevertheless, they have no access to banks. If the funding channels were open for them, many of these extortion cases wouldn't take place.

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