Cartels now taking over … the tortilla trade?

 May 24, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Organized crime in America over the years has involved clothes cleaners, bakeries, groceries and many more retailers, through "protection" rackets and such.

It was an additional revenue stream for those gangs that already were cashing in on bank robberies, booze-distribution during Prohibition, even murders.

It's become a stereotype that appeared in the old movies many times: A thug walks into a storefront and threatens to mess it up unless the "insurance" is paid.

It seems now that the Mexican drug cartels, with their ample cash inflows through fentanyl distribution and even human smuggling during the Joe Biden era of open borders, are expanding.

By taking over the tortilla industry.

A report from News National Now explains that those Mexican cartels still "dominate" the trafficking of narcotics.

And they are cashing in on smuggling people.

And, "the powerful and dangerous criminal organizations are now impacting other businesses in their home country, including those producing a culinary staple," the report said.

"The cartels have gained more political clout by extorting money from a variety of locally owned businesses, including about 15% of the country’s tortillerías.

That was documented by the National Tortilla Council, the report said.

It confirmed upward of 20,000 neighborhood storefront tortilla businesses now are victims of the cartel "shakedown," in which criminals are "taking cash from local fishermen, chicken vendors, trucking companies, lumber operations and other businesses."

"We're practically at the point where criminals set the price of tortillas," Homero López of the national council said in an interview with the Washington Post.

Those prices, in fact, have gone up 61% in recent days.

It was the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency that recently admitted those cartels are present in all 50 U.S. states and have essentially eliminated their drug trafficking competition.

The Post report said those shops where the owners won't pay are set on fire, or shot at.

Antonio Vazquez, whose operation is in the small Mexican state of Morelos, said "protection" money that originally was $10 a week years ago now is $900 a month.

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