By Alejandro Hope for El Daily Post.
Bootlegging, but no Capone. Last week, Mexican authorities made a startling announcement: close to one million liters (264 thousand gallons) of illegal alcoholwere impounded in a warehouse in Mexico City. And that, apparently, is just the tip of the iceberg. According to Mikel Arriola, the head of the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS, Mexico’s FDA), the illegal booze market in this country is worth 725 million dollars per year. To put that in perspective, that number is similar to the likely income from meth exports to the United States. Illegal booze In Mexico probably yields more revenue than domestic marijuana sales. Yet, there is little noise and little violence surrounding that market. Why?
Details count. Why some illegal markets produce bloodbaths and others are mostly peaceful? In an article from a few years back, Peter Reuter, probably the world’s foremost drug policy scholar, speculated about that issue. His answer: details count. What kind of details? Here’s an abbreviated list: