Mexico‘s government secretary said that organized criminal groups now control whole areas of territory in the country, and charge fees for other groups to operate there.
Jose Francisco Blake Mora said that these groups “are not only mixed up with drugs, but completely control territories, where they impose their rule by force of arms.”
The official stated that these criminal organizations often charge a fee from other groups who use their territory for activities like smuggling migrants. This is known as “piso.”
Blake said that the government is working to strengthen its institutions, and that organized crime is a threat not only for migrants but for everyone that stands in its way.
The government is under pressure to respond after reports of abuses against migrants, often from Central America, who pass through Mexico on their way to the U.S. In one recent case a group of migrants said that Mexican immigration officials had handed them over to drug gangs.