"Applying the census in territory controlled by organized crime was not easy.
In some cases, for example, the neighbors "kindly" recommended that the census-takers not enter a particular neighborhood. In others, the criminal groups authorized their entrance only to certain streets and during restricted hours.
"They are very capable people. They locate the census-takers and tell them, 'do not enter, do not walk through this area, or do not knock on the door of some homes,'' commented Cervera.
Despite these incidents, the census was applied without larger problems. In fact, the census-takers were more vulnerable to robbery or dog bites than to the aggression of narco-traffickers."
We commonly think of areas outside of legitimate government control as regions of anarchy and chaos. In fact, criminal insurgencies require a degree of security to maintain the support of the populace that they operate in as well as for their businesses to function optimally. Nonetheless, their control is ever-present; Mexican federal employees have to ask the insurgents for authorization just to conduct their jobs.