Mexico launched a special 5,000-strong police force Friday to combat industrial, farm and business crime that has extended throughout the country's economy, strangling commerce in some regions.
Drug gangs have long penetrated some Mexican mining and agricultural sectors, but officials now reveal that everyone from fishermen to tourist resorts to banana growers have been hit by the wave of extortion, kidnapping and thefts by the gangs.
In some cases, like the western state of Michoacan, the cartels and gangs cut down trade so much that "even the barbershops weren't serving customers. The whole social fabric broke . . .