Mexican Gangs Set their Sights on Illegal Mining / Tracey Knott

As Mexican authorities crack down on drug trafficking, criminal gangs are increasingly moving into the illicit trade in minerals, with some even operating their own mines and selling the resources to international corporations.

Mexico is one of the Latin America’s richest sources for minerals and its mining industry has experienced a period of sustained growth. In 2010, Mexico exported $15.47 billion in minerals and growth is forecast to continue at least until 2015. Though the benefits have been enormous for Mexico’s economy, the rise has in some cases been a burden thanks to the attention mining has garnered from crime syndicates. Cartels have begun targeting the industry more in recent years, kidnapping workers for ransom, extorting up to $37,000 a month in “security fees” from businesses, and stealing resources to sell on the black market. SEE MORE…

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