HomeNewsBriefBoom in Mexico Extortion Reflects Failing Govt Measures: Report
BRIEF

Boom in Mexico Extortion Reflects Failing Govt Measures: Report

EXTORTION / 2 MAR 2014 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

A report by Mexico's National Citizen Observatory reveals that extortion has grown nine-fold over the last 17 years, underscoring a fundamental flaw in the state's enforcement measures and a growing revenue stream for the country's organized crime.

The report reveals that extortion in the country rose 818 percent between 1997 and 2013, with last year displaying the highest figures yet.

The data shows that in 2013, the first year of President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration, the number of reported extortions in Mexico was 8,042 -- a rate of 22 per day, or nearly one every hour.

Figures were up 10.6 percent from 2012, the last year of Felipe Calderon's presidency, and up 501 percent from 2001, the first year of Vicente Fox's presidency.  The rate of extortion per 100,000 inhabitants went up 56.8 percent between 2011 and 2012. By 2013, it had reached 6.79 per 100,000 people, a 9.3 percent increase from the year before. The data collected focuses on telephone scams, blackmail and extortion rackets.

InSight Crime Analysis

The rapid escalation of extortion in Mexico can be linked to various trends in the underworld. In one respect, it is part of a pattern of criminal diversification, which has seen organized crime seek revenue sources outside of drug trafficking. However, it is also a side effect of the fragmentation of cartels, as they have lost the leaders that maintained centralized networks and different criminal elements have been forced to become self-financing. Authorities have so far proven incapable of stopping or even slowing this rise. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Extortion

One of the main obstacles to tackling extortion is a lack of public confidence in state institutions -- in 2012 an estimated 97.8 percent of extortions were not reported, according to the study. In this area, it highlights how the most successful anti-extortion measures focus on informing citizens how to report extortion, a simple step towards building trust.   

However, despite the launch of a government-run awareness campaign in 2013, the report say Mexico's authorities are displaying a lack of will to enforce measures, as shown by their failure to differentiate between the various types of extortion or gain better intelligence on the workings of criminal groups dedicated to this crime.   

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 22 JAN 2015

By one watchdog's count, about 86 percent of the world's most violent cities are based in Latin America, a phenomenon…

INFOGRAPHICS / 26 MAR 2012

The Knights Templar drug gang promised to halt violence during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Mexico, and called…

JALISCO CARTEL / 11 JUL 2019

The brazen slaying of a trusted Sinaloa Cartel operative may look like just another symptom of rising violence along Mexico’s…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…