Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Los Zeta boss in Playa del Carmen behind hotel owner's murder; extortion was the motive, police say

"El Condón," Zeta boss of the plaza in Riviera Maya tourist town, is alleged culprit in slaying

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo --
On June 15, prominent Playa del Carmen businessman Juan Manuel Díaz Moguel, 48, was kidnapped from his hotel about 3:30 p.m. He was found dead on a quiet side street several hours later, the victim of a single gunshot wound to the head. Authorities said his execution was almost surely the result of refusing to pay the obligatory derecho de piso, or "floor charge," assessed against virtually every business owner in town. They were apparently right.

Yesterday police charged the local Zeta boss of the plaza in Playa del Carmen, who, like all Mexican gangsters, goes by an alias. His is El Condón - the condom (spelled Kondon in his tattoo). Here is MGRR's earlier story on the case: Riviera Maya hotel owner refuses to pay the "rent," so extortionists execute him.

El Condón was identified by two other Zeta operatives who were arrested earlier this month after a foiled extortion attempt against a local restaurateur. He has a prior criminal record in Quintana Roo (the mugshot is from an earlier detention). A local press report did not indicate whether El Condón has been taken into custody in connection with the June murder case.

The state Public Ministry is investigating both cases. In the attempted restaurant extortion matter, one of the suspects is said to be the Zeta's regional accountant, in charge of financial operations.

Commercial extortion is ubiquitous in Playa del Carmen, especially along the town's famous Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue. Police say 90% of business owners pay organized crime for "protection." If they don't, Manuel Díaz Moguel's fate awaits them. In 2011, over 300 establishments in Quintana Roo state shuttered their doors for just that reason. 300 businesses close in Cancún, Riviera Maya due to 2011 narco extortion, threats.

Will Quintana Roo state become the next Ciudad Juárez of Mexico?
Amenazan grandes conflictos sociales

Aug. 8 - El Kondón, facing multiple charges, admits to being boss of the plaza in Playa
Aug. 1 - A wave of extortion in Playa del Carmen affects every business
July 15 - Political power is ultimate goal of Mexican drug cartels, says U.S. security expert

Related stories
Playa del Carmen police officer executed, after hit men arrive by taxi
Cancún Zetas extort even street vendors, and run sex trade, too
Cancún, no longer an oasis for most
Mexican armed forces raid drug houses in Playa del Carmen tourist zone
Mexico's Caribbean Riviera Maya in the hands of drug cartels and extortionists
Mexican derecho de piso has arrived in the United States
Playa del Carmen's chief of Tourist Police shot to death

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