Mexico: The border-crossing “tax”

The Economist blog, America’s View, reports on Extortion in Latin America
Death and taxes
. One has to pay a $40 airport tax to leave the country at San Pedro Sula airport; crossing the US-Mexico border illegally is controlled by the cartels, and the “tax” is heavier,

In Nuevo Laredo, several migrants recount how, in addition to paying a “coyote” to guide them across the Rio Bravo (Texas’s Rio Grande), they have to pay a “tax” of about 4,500 pesos ($350) to the drug gang (remnants of the Zetas) who control access to the river. One migrant had his picture taken when he paid his extortionists. They said the payment gave him the right to two attempts; on the third, if he didn’t pay again, he would be killed. The photo was the Zetas’ way of keeping records.

Take it away, Hyman,

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