[I POSTED THIS IN IMPUNITY, BUT FELT IT WAS A LITTLE LOST THERE, SO HERE WE GO AGAIN]
[BLANCO PURO, ASKED ME ABOUT THE COST OF A PLAZA. IT WAS UNDER THE HEADING OF IMPUNITY, SO I CHANGED THE SUBJECT TO PLAZA P & L. THIS IS FROM COSTS AND INCOME IN THE MID 1980's 3 1/2 DECADES AGO]
There are many books with varying amounts of money paid to own the plaza.
To new readers, "la plaza" refers to a place of gathering - a town square, a marketplace, a bullring. Thus "la plaza de armas" is a parade ground or town square, "la plaza de toros" is a bullring, and so forth. Colloquially, however, la plaza refers to a police authority and a police commander's jurisdiction. And so the inquiry "Who's in charge here?" would bring the answer, "Commandante So-and-So."
To the Mexican drug underworld, however, the question has another meaning, a very precise and well-understood meaning. When someone in the drug trafficking world asks who has the plaza, it is interpreted to mean, "Who has the concession to run the narcotics racket?"
From, "Drug Lord: A True Story" - Pablo Acosta, Ojinaga Plaza
The plaza holder has a dual obligation: to generate money for his protectors and to lend intelligence gathering abilities by fingering the independent operators, those narcos and drug growers who try to avoid paying the necessary tribute.
Pablo had to pay 200,000,000 pesos, to have a warrant quashed regarding his murder of a dealer named Fermin in Ojinaga. Then worth about a million dollars, approximate 1983
According to DEA, April 1986, Pablo spent $100,000/month for protection to both the federal to local gov'ts in Ojinaga.
Outside traffickers to Ojinaga, paid Pablo $11,000 for the privilege to move drugs through his plaza, (200 lbs. of pot)
Private pilots, charged $10,000 a load, to $40,000 a load to Pablo up to 1,100 lbs. in a twin engine across the border.
Later as cocaine dealers, Carlos Lehder Rivas in Columbia and Amado Carillo Fuentes, started using Pablo's plaza for crossing cocaine into the states. This was 1987. Pablo was paid anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 per kilo for warehousing and ensuring the safety of the cocaine.
Federal and state police were paid $12 to $17 per pound for protection to cross marijuana across the border at Juarez.
Pablo made a $100,000 "down payment" to the federal police to get off his back, after several smuggling mishaps.
The costs and income of a plaza were big numbers and they are much higher now.