As violence and criminality rise in Mexico so do the fortunes of private security firms. According to declarations by the president of the National Federation for Private Security Businesses (Confederacion Nacional de Empresarios de Seguridad Privada y Similares de los Servicios del Ramo), published by Excelsior via news agency EFE, the industry’s services grew 25 percent over the past year. The 150-company confederation said that the states where the most private services were required include Mexico, Nuevo Leon, Guerrero, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Puebla, Morelos, Michoacan and Mexico City.
- In Mexico City and the state of Mexico, extortion by phone has risen dramatically in the past four years, a report in newspaper El Universal says. According to the Public Safety Secretary (ASE), phone extortion cases went from 120 in 2007 to 1,482 in 2010, a 1,235 percent increase in the state of Mexico alone. In Mexico City, between 2007 and 2010, authorities registered 351,715, 120,969 of which were registered in 2009. The main targets are business associates, politicians, doctors, and drivers, the ASE said. In 99 percent of the cases, authorities say the person making the call does not know the victim.
- Venezuelan National Counternarcotics Office (Oficina Nacional Antidrogas – ONA) said that so far in 2010 3,414 people have been captured for drug trafficking, and some eight metric tons of drugs have been seized, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, crack, and bazuco (a cocaine derivative), Venezuelan daily El Universal reports. According to the United Nations, Venezuela usually seizes between 30 and 40 metric tons of cocaine a year, most of it on its way to Europe.