Friday, August 1, 2008
El Universal examines the growing ambitions of The Family, the Michoacán-based drug-trafficking group. Michoacán is a vital transit route from the Pacific coast to the interior, but author Francisco Gómez says that the Family aspires to expand across the nation. In addition to moving cocaine, the group has focused on stamping out crystal meth and kidnapping in the areas it dominates. This aspect of the group --ostensibly providing a societal benefit-- has naturally grown into Italian mafia-style extortion of legitimate businesses. (That's a pretty nice taco stand you have here--it'd be a shame if something happened to it.) The Zetas --with whom the Family is allied-- have evidently applied similar tactics, which marks a potentially important shift in the industry.