A 22 year old co-worker from Jalisco told me that halcones ( lookouts ) are paid anywhere from 600 pesos to 1800 pesos , or about 50 to 150 dolllars a week . These lookouts answer to a another person in charge of a group of lookouts in a particular plaza . He related a story that I believe is true . One of his young friends , a CJNG halcon , was arrested by a military unit in Mazamitla , Jalisco near the Michoacan border . He was caught with a cell phone , a two way radio , and a non-functioning handgun . The unit left Mazamitla and took the young boy in the back of a military truck on a journey to another military zone . All the while beating him daily and barely giving him any food or water . The lookout spent two horrifying weeks with the unit and was even left for two nights tied to a solitary tree in a field during a bad lightning storm . He was released about 500 kilometers from Mazamitla and called his superior in the plaza who sent him bus fare . When he arrived back home he was given his two weeks back pay and related his experience to the co-worker . Shortly afterward he disappeared and is thought to have been murdered by the CJNG .
Wow they are not even loyal to their own.Just a despensible person but I guess they killed him for revenge for singing the canary song while tortured and maybe he was forced to work both sides and they weren't taking any chances with that so had to get rid of him.Too bad he had his whole life ahead of him as he was probably young so theres no protection for anyone inside or out unless youre at the top.
My co-worker was friends with a few halcones who he basically described as not having much intel or secrets to reveal . They are given a designated location to work , perhaps where two major highways intersect , and report any military or police presence or movements to their handlers . Some of these halcones are brutally disciplined with beatings by their own cartels for such infractions like falling asleep while at work or failing to show up on time or not at all . The worse case is if they fail to give a " heads up " on a rival cartel or security forces infiltration that leads to arrests or deaths . Then the halcon is picked up and executed by his own cartel's sicarios . My co-worker says he was warned by his now dead friend to not get involved with the CJNG .
Ex. esposa's prima was married to a plaza manager of one of the major border crossings so I used to get stories. He never kept a lot of cash. Bought cars, boats motorcycles houses for family, etc. "Owned" several construction related businesses. Seemed like he'd accumulate maybe 30K then spend it quick. Can't use the bank and cash is easy to steal. Everything was in someone else's name. Said one time they had stopped counting the money coming in. I watched one day counting of about 75K in 20's and 50's, count and check. What a pain. The mules, mostly women, were skimming a little here and there. Bought two high tech sientific scales and packaged up the $$ in plastic and tape, weighed the package, wrote the weight on the package and weighed it again after delivery. Actual count for bookeeping happened later.
He was the most ordinary guy you could meet. Mild manered and polite prolly only 30 years old. I used to run into him from time to time when he was with his 'boys' and he always greeted me and shook my hand although the 'boys' would glare. He had a tough job. Get the product across the border without loosing too much, make delivery, get the cash, cross the cash and all the while protect the plaza for the company. He was methotical and successful till someone got caught and turned. Feds investigated for almost year before the big bust, it was big news back then.
His whole organization got rolled up. Most of the 'staff' in the US and some in Mexico. Lots or $$ and product was confiscated. He was not nabbed but was expected to pay back what was lost, which of course he could not do.
Last I heard, years back. He was living in a large city in Mexico and selling his gold jewelry to eat and feed a new baby. Some of his family would sell off some of his stuff and send some money.
Most of the 'jobs' through the business are low paying, but there are quite a few jobs. The flash looks good to the young guys from poor families but the lifestyle sucks after awhile and you can never get out. You never say no to a 'request' for some help if you are in the business. I kept it on a family not business basis and so did he.
Back 6 years ago the Juarez Cartel put up signs to recruit any police or military person. They were offering what I remember to equal $2,000 US and also a vehicle plus $10,000 life insurance paid to your family. I think Zetas made a very similar offer. This is in combination with military or police salary which made it attractive. It is a much higher level than Halcion. It was in the heart of the wars with Chapo.
To clarify, my comments are based on conditions about 12 - 15 years back. Seems things were more controlled then with less obvious violence. I do recall just before he got rolled up he came back from visiting his boss and said he had permission to start shooting people.
I know that the various cartels operate 24 hour retail drug tienditas where they sell coke , crack , meth , heroin , marijuana , ect. in Mexican cities . Those places are very lucrative for the cartels and the people who work in them are paid about $ 10 to $ 20 dollars per day .
I currently reside in the U.S. where I was born but I travel to Mexico on a regular basis . I've lived in about six Mexican states and have a small close knit family of aunts , uncles , and cousins along with a large group of long time friends all over Mexico . Hopefully , within a decade I will buy me a house in a small coastal town and retire .