HomeNewsBriefTransport Extortion Worth $4 Mn a Year in Northwest Peru
BRIEF

Transport Extortion Worth $4 Mn a Year in Northwest Peru

EXTORTION / 19 NOV 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Criminal groups operating in the city of Trujillo, in northwestern Peru, make over $4 million a year extorting public transport companies, illustrating the highly lucrative nature of this criminal activity.

According to figures obtained by El Comercio from transport unions, criminal gangs glean over $12,000 per day in protection money from transport companies around Trujillo -- a figure which adds up to almost $4.4 million a year. Those who fail to pay may have their vehicles stolen from them, as occurred to Rodolfo Azañero Lopez, president of the Federation of Motorcycle Taxi Drivers of La Esperanza.

Motorcycle taxi companies pay an average of $0.35 per vehicle per day to each criminal organization; taxis and vans pay around $0.70; and minibuses pay slightly over $1. Police said some minibus drivers paid up to four quotas daily to avoid problems with the various groups involved.

Trujillo judge William Rabanal Palacios said the crime had grown 50 percent in the past two years, and local transport union leaders claimed they would go on strike at the end of November until authorities agreed to resolve the problem.

InSight Crime Analysis

Extortion of public transport workers is a huge problem across Latin America, a crime firmly embedded into daily life which provides a primary income source for many of the region's gangs. Bus drivers carry cash unprotected along regular routes in crime-ridden neighborhoods, making them easy targets. Driving public transport in Guatemala is one of the world's deadliest professions, with 97 workers killed in the first six months of 2013.  In Honduras, criminals targeting the transport sector reportedly earn $12.5 million a year in the capital alone. 

The Peru case stands out for its size -- while Chiclayo gangs reportedly made around $900,000 from all forms of extortion in a year, Trujillo gangs make over four times that annually just from the transport sector.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Extortion

Other forms of extortion in Peru include extortion rackets run by Lima gangs that target the construction sector, schools and retailers, and the collection of taxes by guerrilla group the Shining Path from construction companies and informal loggers.

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

EXTORTION / 18 NOV 2011

While larger businesses can escape unscathed, small businesses in Mexico often have no other option in the extortion economy but…

EXTORTION / 7 MAR 2012

Two Lima gangs have reignited their struggle for control of the city's extortion rackets, according to Peruvian media, prompting fears…

PERU / 2 DEC 2010

Peruvian police arrested several coca growers in the central Huanuco region of Peru last week, for alleged connections to Florindo…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…