The Victimology of Extortions in Mexico
Hale, Gary J.
Extortion has become the most favored activity among traditional organized crime elements  in Mexico, motivated by several factors that contribute to the longevity of the practice. Chief among these is the enormous money-making opportunities these groups can seize by forcing people into situations in which they would gladly forfeit their assets in exchange for the freedom to continue their daily business and personal activities. Most of the other factors that make extortion a popular crime are related to the fact that extortionists are typically granted immunity from prosecution. Immunity is derived from various phenomena, including: 1) Subjugation of police forces: some extortionists or cartels have superior weaponry and strength in numbers compared to police forces, causing the latter to acquiesce to the former. 2) Collusion by corrupt police forces: some police officers simply decide to join the extortionists in return for payment-in-kind for their participation. 3) The intimidation, hurt, harm, or killing of victims and witnesses, which leads to a lack of social accountability for the extortionists, emboldening them to continue committing the crime. 4) The lack of successful prosecutions of extortion cases brought to the criminal justice system, a significant motivator that will remain in place until such time as substantial and lasting criminal justice reform is enacted in Mexico. This analysis addresses the criminal extortion practices occurring in Mexico, with emphasis given to activities along the northern border states, particularly the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and along the trade corridor between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. This analysis also uses the import of used cars from the United States to Mexico as one useful case study.