Saturday, September 18, 2010

350 Bars, Cantinas, Dance Halls, Closed Because of Extortion Threats. Nightlife Gone in Downtown Juarez

In an unsigned story in Norte Digital today (click here) the authors estimate that about 350 bars, beer halls, cantinas, and bars with dance halls have closed down due to the threat of extortion. The article asserts that all of the bars in Juarez are now subject to threats by extortionists, who, they claim, are collecting about $100,000 (U.S.) per week from the owners, who pay between $75 (U.S.) and $750 (U.S.) depending on the volume of trade. About 179 of the establishments that have closed were located downtown, and there is practically no nightlife left in the downtown zone. The number of persons employed in these establishments is down to a mere 20% of what it was just two years ago. Even ambulatory peddlers of flowers, tacos, and the like, as well as taxi drivers, are forced to pay extortion fees of $5.00-$10.00 (U.S.). Bars that are still operating have cut their hours drastically, rarely open except on weekends.

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