New York Daily News
October 23, 2013
Antonio Chavez decided he just couldn’t take it anymore when enforcers from the terrifying Knights Templar drug cartel marched yet again into his small store in central Mexico, where villagers gathered to drink beer and shoot the breeze, and told him matter-of-factly that if he didn’t pay up, they would make him disappear.
The narcotics syndicate owns and extorts virtually every facet of life in the rural town of La Ruana, where Chavez, 47, was threatened with extinction if he didn’t hand over $150 each month as a “fee” for the music he played via his cell phone to entertain his regular customers.
He had seen others disappear at the hands of the cartel, whose members are also known for decapitating perceived enemies and leaving the heads in the street. He didn’t doubt they’d do something similar to him. His children, U.S. citizens living in California, said they’d find a way to get him out legally, but it could take up to 12 months.