Friday, April 15, 2011

Drug Cartels Stealing Gold From Mexican Mines

It's part of life in a failed state. Attracted to the concentrated wealth that gold mines produce, Mexican drug cartels are getting behind thefts of gold from Mexican mines.
[A]s international metals prices surge, gunmen are attacking workers to steal valuable ores and equipment at often-remote mining sites that have fallen under the gaze of drug gangs extending their reach into new criminal rackets.

Companies are being forced to hire more guards or change the way they transport goods, with some shipping valuable metals by air instead of on dangerous highways.

"We spent 20 per cent more on security last year," said Armando Ortega, vice-president for Latin America at Vancouver-based New Gold Inc, which owns the Cerro San Pedro gold mine in San Luis Potosi state. "There are miners that have suffered robberies of gold-silver dore bars or concentrates. The high prices make gold an attractive target for organized crime....
A few mining companies have already suffered major thefts of dore bars. Although the cartels may not be directly involved, they've helped create a climate of lawlessness in which such thefts thrive.

As I indicated, this isn't the first time a mine's been jacked. Some time ago, I wrote a short story whose plot revolved around a fictional theft in Canada. It seems only a matter of time before those crimes spread northward...

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