Mexico’s Confederation of Industrial Chambers (CONCAMIN) assured organized crime is controlling food prices and supplies in the states of Zacatecas, Tlaxcala, Puebla, State of Mexico, Guerrero and Michoacán. “In recent months there have been various acts of violence and theft to control the distribution of basic food products. These events, happening in different states, hurt the population in general," said José Antonio Abugaber, President, CONCAMIN.
Those most at risk are marginalized communities, who are at the mercy of criminals that control access to their populations by threatening suppliers of inputs and food, controlling prices and supplies and by stealing, burning or destroying the trucks that supply those regions.
“There are already companies that think twice before going to those towns, because for them insuring the goods is very expensive and, worse still, substituting the destroyed trucks,” added Abugaber.
Just last June, a group of armed men entered a large chicken distribution center in Chilpancingo, Guerrero. The men opened fire, leaving six people dead and some others injured. The chicken industry in this region has been the center of land disputes between criminal groups. This situation led chicken vendors and other shops to close their doors. After 10 days, some business owners decided to reopen, but with an evident change in their prices. According to InSight Crime, before this wave of attacks, a whole chicken was worth around MX$140 (US$7), but prices reached MX$220 (US$11) after these events, according to media reports.
Something similar happened in Celaya during 2019, when after growing violence and increasing attempts of extortion, dozens of tortilla vendors closed their businesses.
In the cities of Acapulco, Chilpancingo and Taxco (all of them in Guerrero), organized crime sets prices of basic products. The National Alliance of Small Traders explained that this modus operandi helps criminal groups grow solid in certain areas of a specific region and carry out new methods of extortion. “We call on the authorities, so together we find and implement immediate action that promote peace, harmony and prosperity for all. The industry reiterates its call for social peace and commitment in building a better, more just and more prosperous Mexico for everyone,” added Abugaber.