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Latino Daily News

Tuesday May 24, 2011

Criminal Organizations in Mexico Gain Majority of Money from Pirated Merchandise Not Drugs

Criminal Organizations in Mexico Gain Majority of Money from Pirated Merchandise Not Drugs

Photo: Mexico losing money as a country, while criminal organizations reap the benfits

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

When thinking about criminal organizations in Mexico, one would likely assume that they majority of their money is made from illegal drug trafficking, but today, less than half of these organizations’ money is derived from the drug trade. The lucrative business of choice is now the buying and selling of pirated goods, and the country is suffering for it.

As jobs are still hard to come by for may in Mexico, the appeal of pirated (and thus cheaper) goods usually wins, but experts estimate that pirating is responsible for the loss of about 480,000 jobs. In terms of apparel, the faking of brand-name clothing cost the clothing industry about $9.5 billion. As many as 70 percent of footwear companies have closed in the last few years, as they cannot compete with the counterfeit “brand-name” goods sellers.

Mexican director Federico de la Garza is working on a campaign to try to convince Mexicans not to buy pirated goods, as he says 9 out of 10 movies sold in Mexico are pirated.

A government official wishing to remain anonymous told Dallas News that cartels often put their logos on pirated merchandise, and while they are “obviously not registered trademarks, … it’s their own brand.”

“If someone from La Familia shows up, enters (a store) and sees that the discs don’t carry the butterfly, things are going to get ugly for the owners,” the official said. “They are forcing stores to buy their discs.”

Piracy and criminal organization expert, Gustavo Fondevila says drug traffickers “get involved in piracy in the same way they get involves in the kidnapping of migrants. They’re looking for ways to diversify their criminal business.”

Though people believe buying pirated items links them to organized crime and weakens local industry, many still purchase them.

Studies have even suggest that Mexicans generally do not see piracy as a crime or as immoral.