HomeNewsBriefGulf Cartel and Zetas Run 'Narco-Toll Bridge' in East Mexico
BRIEF

Gulf Cartel and Zetas Run 'Narco-Toll Bridge' in East Mexico

GULF CARTEL / 30 OCT 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

The Zetas and Gulf Cartel are imposing a toll on travel between two states in eastern Mexico, in a case highlighting the extent of the incursion of organized crime into daily life where the state lacks presence. 

The rival criminal groups are charging motorists around $39 per week, or $232 per month, to cross the Moralillo Bridge, which connects the cities of Tampico in Tamaulipas state and Panuco in Veracruz state. Charges are based on the vehicle type and can be as high as $389, with those who refuse to pay liable to have their vehicle stolen or be kidnapped, reported Milenio.

SEE ALSO: Zetas News and Profiles

According to Milenio, the Tamaulipas side of the bridge is controlled by the Gulf Cartel, while the Zetas levy fees on people leaving Veracruz. The newspaper reported that there is no visible law enforcement presence in the communities at either end of the bridge, and residents have been squeezed so hard by extortion demands from the cartels that many businesses are shuttered and properties abandoned.

TamaulipasVeracruz

InSight Crime Analysis

The flagrant and well organized nature of this extortion -- with motorists offered weekly and monthly charges and discounts for frequent travel -- is indicative of the infiltration of organized crime into day-to-day life in Mexican communities and continued neglect of certain regions by the country's security services. 

The ability of these cartels to maintain such a racket when it would arguably only require a minor police presence at each end of the bridge is symptomatic of the ineffective protection provided by the state that many of the country's self-defense groups cite as their cause to take up arms.  While the southwest is the stronghold of such groups, they have been reportedly springing up elsewhere, including Tamaulipas and Veracruz.

Meanwhile, the fact cartels have taken to imposing road tolls only underscores the scope of their criminal diversification, and willingness to take advantage of any money making opportunity. In recent years cartels have increasingly moved into such diverse fields as cargo theftcattle trafficking and mining, as well as expanding their activities in more traditional criminal sectors such as kidnapping and extortion

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

MEXICO / 20 JUN 2011

Mexico's drug gangs are increasingly developing ties to mafias around the world, from Japan to India, Russia, and Western Europe.

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 16 JUN 2011

Mexico's government argues that killing and arresting the leaders of drug cartels does not lead to increased violence. But is…

GULF CARTEL / 28 JUL 2011

At least 14 bodies have been discovered in a series of mass graves in Nuevo Leon, north Mexico.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…