Mexico Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Mexico’s black market. Intelligence and threat information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public information sources.

Police in Mexico reported that there were 5,335 extortion attempts across the country in the first 8 months of 2013. The number of extortion cases was equal to the number of cases reported in all of 2012.

According to the National Statistics Institute, 92 percent of Mexico’s citizens do not report extortion attempts and payments to the police.

(Examples of bribery worldwide.)

A survey conducted in April 2013 found that extortion was the second most common crime that impacts residents of Mexico behind street robberies. 7.6 percent of those surveyed stated that they have been a victim of extortion, up from 5 percent the previous year.

Security analysts believe that the rise in extortion cases is due to drug cartels looking to diversify their revenue.

Source:  Associated Press, “Mexico’s drug crackdown spurs extortion wave,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 20, 2013.

According to a drug policy reform group, the illegal marijuana market in Mexico City, Mexico was worth $30 Million as of 2013.

The city was considering legalizing marijuana, which would make it the largest city in North America to legalize the use of marijuana.

(Cost of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Ioan Grillo, “North America’s Largest City Moves to Legalize Pot,” Time, October 14, 2013.

Between 2006 and 2012, over 45 mayors have been killed and 30 have gone missing in Mexico. Security agencies attribute the killings to the work of drug cartels.

According to the National Confederation of Municipalities, organized crime activities threaten 40 percent of Mexico’s municipalities.

Source:  Dudley Althaus, “Mexico’s mayors are under the gangster gun,” Global Post, October 11, 2013.

Statistics released by security agencies in Mexico reported that there were 105,682 kidnappings that took place in the country in 2012.

However, only 1,317 were reported to federal security agencies during the year, resulting in 99 percent of kidnapping going unreported.

In 2012, the average amount of ransom paid out to kidnappers was $50,000, according to the Public Security ministry.

Source:  Roberto A. Ferdman, “99% of kidnappings in Mexico went unreported last year,” Quartz, October 3, 2013.

Mexican officials stated that there are 85,000 children in Mexico who are victims of child pornography.

Over 1,300 websites in Mexico are dedicated to displaying pornographic images of children.

In 2012, law enforcement arrested 16 people for child pornography charges, while investigated 11,000 cases.

According to officials, Mexico is the world’s number one distributor of child pornography.

Source:  Marguerite Cawley, “Mexico Is World Leader in Child Pornography: Officials,” Insight Crime, September 30, 2013.

Between January and June 2013, security agencies in Mexico recorded 757 reports of kidnappings. The number of kidnapping reported in the first half of 2013 was the highest ever recorded since records began being tracked in 1997. The record amount in the first half of 2013 follows a trend of increases, with the second highest reported rate being the first half of 2011, when 700 kidnapping recorded. In the first half of 2012, authorities officially recorded 688 kidnappings.

If the month of December 2012 is included to include the entire span of President Enrique Peña Nieto administration, then there were 878 reported kidnappings in Mexico.

Up to 30 percent of kidnappings victims in Mexico are killed by their captors.

Source: Marguerite Cawley, “Mexico Kidnappings Highest in 16 Years,” Insight Crime, September 16, 2013.

The Juarez drug cartel in Mexico hired a United States soldier to act as a hit man to kill a confidential informant living in the United States. According to security officials, the drug cartel paid the American soldier $5,000 to kill the informant in El Paso, Texas. The soldier killed the man with 8 rounds.

In a separate incident, two military soldiers stationed in the US state of Colorado plead guilty to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire when they offered their services to undercover federal agents. Then men thought that they were offering their “wet work” to the Los Zetals cartel. They offered their services for $50,000 and 5 kilograms of cocaine.

(Hitman for hire on the black market.)

Source:  Deborah Hastings, “U.S. soldiers accepting cash, drugs for Mexican drug cartel contract hits,” New York Daily News, September 13, 2013.

Joaquin Guzman Lorera, head of the Mexican drug trafficking organization Sinaloa Cartel, escaped from a prison in Mexico on January 19, 2001.

He was able to escape the prison by hiding in a laundry basket that was wheeled out of the prison.

It was been reported that he allegedly paid $2.5 Million in bribes to various guards and officials in order to facilitate his escape.

Source:  James Blears, “The man, the myth: ‘EL Chapo’s’ drug dealings,” Deutsche Welle, August 20, 2013.

Two minors who were born and raised in the US state of Texas are currently serving life sentences in Texas prisons for killings that they conducted on behalf of the Zetas drug cartel in Mexico.

According to media reports, the two teenagers were paid $2,000 per month as a retainer. When they would successfully kill a person, they would be paid between $10,000 to $50,000 and pounds of cocaine.

(Additional contract killings around the world.)

Source:  Alex Greig, “Mexican drug cartels groom American children to become teenage assassins,” Daily Mail, August 7, 2013.

A migrant who has illegally crossed the US-Mexico border on numerous occasions told the Mexican media that human smugglers were charging between $3,000 to $20,000 to bring migrants across the border.

The difference in prices charged were due to the type of service and documents the migrant was to receive. At the lower end of the price scale, the human smuggler would help the migrant jump the border fence and guide them to safety.

For paying smuggler $20,000, the migrant would be able to obtain original, legal documentation and assistance from US Border Patrol Agents who have been corrupted by the human smugglers.

(Prices paid to human smugglers around the world.)

Source:  James Bargent, “Migrants Pay Up to $20,000 to Cross US-Mexico Border,” Insight Crime, July 9, 2013.