Edgar N. ran a profitable business in the state of Michoacán during most of his adult life, but after falling victim to extortion by local organized crime groups five years ago, he closed his export business and relocated to the state of Querétaro.
“Business was doing fine, 500,000 pesos of sales monthly; I was one of the most successful businesses in my area of the region,” he says. “Michoacán has always had organized crime. Different criminal gangs ran their drug businesses in the area. But in those days they operated like businessmen,” explains Edgar. “When I got to Michoacán, the first thing they told me was not to look for trouble. Things were quieter then. We all knew who were the bad guys and we simply didn’t get into it with them, and they didn’t get into it with us.