As U.S. oil companies look south of the border in order to take advantage of the new energy reform, one of Mexico’s sad realities surfaces. Drug cartels have unrivaled control of vast territories in that country and in order to exploit the natural resources, American companies will likely have to deal with theft and other crimes from those cartels just like other companies are already doing. In some cases, they will even have to pay protection money.
As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, last summer Mexico’s government changed its laws in order to allow foreign capital to exploit that country’s natural resources. Since the passage of the law little has changed along the Mexican border where drug cartels continue to reign with an iron fist.
Many American companies continue looking south of the border, apparently unaware that if they expand into Mexico they will likely come face to face with Mexican drug cartels. A lawsuit that is currently being fought in federal court reveals how a group of investors bought a manufacturing plant in the border city of Reynosa. Once they took over the operations, the Gulf Cartel reared its ugly head.
In the 33-page lawsuit obtained by Breitbart Texas, the plaintiffs provide a glimpse into how the Gulf Cartel made business difficult for the manufacturing plant called Thermo Fisher. Cartel gunmen would often enter the plant waiving machine guns and terrorizing the employees.
Gulf Cartel gunmen would also enter the plant to hide vehicles, including tractor trailers with unknown cargo, or they would go into the plant to hide from authorities, the lawsuit revealed. The Gulf Cartel also stationed lookouts around the plant which made the investors and employees very uncomfortable.
The issue of cartels harassing international companies is not just limited to the border. This past Easter, a group of highly coordinated cartel gunmen stormed a Canadian gold mine and managed to make off with 7,000 ounces of gold concentrate. This represents about a month’s worth of production for the mine and has a value of $8.5 million. The brazen robbery became public when Rob McEwen, the CEO of the company that bears his name went on TV to talk about the robbery.
“The cartels are active down there. Generally we have a good relationship with them,” McEwen said. “If you want to go explore somewhere, you ask them, and they tell you, ‘no,’ but then they say ‘come back in a couple of weeks, we’ve finished what we are doing.”
His comments drew the ire of the Mexican government since McEwEn openly talked about having to work around the cartels and get their permission in order to get their work done. Just a few days making those comments McEwen made a retraction of his statement, however the cat was already out of the bag.
Despite the many promises made by the Mexican government the gold was never recovered.