Saturday, June 16, 2012
Riviera Maya hotel owner refuses to pay the "rent," so extortionists execute him
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo --
In this world-famous resort just minutes south of Cancún, a hotel owner bucked the odds and paid with his life.
Prominent businessman Juan Manuel Díaz Moguel, 48, was kidnapped from his establishment about 3:30 p.m. Friday (June 15), and was found dead on a quiet side street at 7:00 p.m. Police say his execution was almost surely the result of refusing to pay the obligatory derecho de piso
, or "floor charge," assessed against virtually every business owner in town by organized crime. It might be described as a rent surcharge. And it's not optional.
There are three groups which extort here. Los Zetas and Los Matazetas (the "Zeta killers") are national drug cartels and criminal syndicates which supplement revenues earned from narcotics trafficking with floor charges. A smaller local group, Los Pelones, dabbles in extortion in Caribbean communities south of Cancún, which is completely under the thumb of Los Zetas. Los Pelones have also made a name for themselves as contract killers.
For the past several months Los Pelones and Los Matazetas have been in an uneasy alliance trying to dislodge their common enemy, Los Zetas (posts below). It's an impossible task that won't succeed, but a lot of blood is guaranteed to be shed along the way. Los Zetas are the most probable suspects
in yesterday's murder of the hotel proprietor, with acquisition of the victim's establishment the ultimate motive, says a local newspaper.
Díaz Moguel, originally from Yucatán, had owned the Caribbean Paradise along bustling Fifth Avenue for 16 years, which is the town's main tourist zone. There's not a business on that strip that doesn't pay extortion, authorities say, which has caused hundreds to close their doors (300 businesses close in Cancún, Riviera Maya due to 2011 narco extortion, threats
). Legal technicalities aside, Los Zetas are the real landlords of Fifth Avenue in Playa.
The victim was shot through the right ear at close range. His body was driven from the place of execution to the street where it was dumped in a taxi, according to unidentified witnesses. Taxis are frequently used as transportation by cartels and executioners in Quintana Roo to avoid attracting police attention, especially at night or in high crime areas. Drivers work with organized crime, either voluntarily or because they're pressed into service. (In Cancún, Los Pelones happily deliver drugs by taxi and death on demand
June 17 postscript
Juan Manuel Díaz Moguel, an honest businessman dead at 48. Extortion, drug trafficking and organized crime executions are daily events along this lush strip of southeastern Mexico. With the exception of one local paper they are rarely reported, either here or in the United States. Some Quintana Roo businessmen have called for Mexican armed forces to take over policing duties
, just as they did in Veracruz in December 2011
. (On Nov. 11, a commander of the federal military zone in Quintana Roo state alleged that 90% of all Cancún police are corrupt, and belong to one criminal organization or another). Yet the man most likely to be elected Mexico's next president in two weeks is a severe critic of president Felipe Calderón's anti-cartel search-and-destroy tactics, known as the National Security Strategy. The candidate promises he'll "stop the killing." Many ask, "how?
The first two links just below tell about two other Q.R. businessmen executed in May.
Cancún business leader with Mérida ties executed at home - by Los Matazetas?
Attorney murdered in Quintana Roo office
Mexico's Caribbean Riviera Maya in the hands of drug cartels and extortionists
Cancún Zetas extort even street vendors, and run sex trade, too
Cancún, no longer an oasis for most
Los Pelones killer arrested in Cancún also may have been hit man for Matazetas
50 Matazeta executioners in Cancún to "recover the plaza" for El Chapo Guzmán
Los Matazetas - the "Zeta killers" - may have arrived in Cancún
Mexican armed forces raid drug houses in Playa del Carmen tourist zone
Posted by Edward V. Byrne
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Eddie Lin Ilustration Storyboard 腳本製作插圖設計June 17, 2012 11:12 AM
Well, that hits home because I know this guy. Very sad. It will be the same fate with bigger operations like Real resorts, where I used to work. There were some level of extortions going on with the security crew and that just leads to everything else.