According to Ruben Baltazar, spokesman for transporters of the avocado municipality of Uruapan, the sector is being extorted by some elements in the Civil Guard and the Attorney General's Office of Michoacan. They stop transporters, under any pretext, to demand money from them.
"They might ask for a small bribe, which ranges between 50-100 pesos, by telling you to invite them for coffee or for coke. But we've also known of some transporters that have had to pay up to almost 40,000 pesos," he said.
Fed up with the extortions, the transporters decided to protest by blocking the entrances and exits of the municipality; a blockade that generated different threats from the authorities.
"When the state secretary of public security arrived with the riot control group, the police told us they were going to burn the trucks if we did not move them," Rubén Baltazar stated.
"The Civil Guards' extortions have focused on the municipalities of Tancítaro, San Juan Nuevo, Los Reyes, Zamora, Santa Clara del Cobre, Pátzcuaro, Tinganbato, and Lázaro Cárdenas; however, they take place throughout the state, where organized crime and now the authorities are extorting the various productive sectors of the state."
"It is no secret that both the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), Los Viagras, and Familia Michoacana, and now some elements of the Civil Guard and State Attorney's Office demand a daily or monthly extortion quota from the public transport and the transport of cargo sector that exceed 21 million pesos," stated Baltazar.