COUNTRY RISK , Is Mexico a safe jurisdiction?

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#1 Sun, Jul 3, 2011 - 10:54am
Joined: Jun 18, 2011

COUNTRY RISK , Is Mexico a safe jurisdiction?

Fifteen killed in drug shootout in top Mexican silver mining area

A five-hour gun battle between Mexican marines and a drug gang in Mexico's principal silver mining state close to Fresnillo, left 15 dead raising more concerns about mine security in the area.

Posted: Saturday , 02 Jul 2011

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -

A five-hour shootout between Mexican marines and dozens of members of the Zetas drug gang left 15 gunmen dead on Friday in the latest outburst of drug violence to hit the central mining state of Zacatecas.

A group of suspected Zeta gang members in the small town of San Jose de Lourdes attacked a convoy of marines patrolling the area. Six marines were injured, 15 suspected cartel members were killed and another 17 captured, the marines said.

"Naval personnel were attacked with firearms by a group of organized criminals hiding in a safe house. They repelled the aggression, starting a firefight that lasted five hours," a statement from the marines said.

The town is just outside of Fresnillo, home to the world's largest silver mine that is owned by a company FREX.MX with the same name. In Fresnillo, drug cartels blocked roads with burned-out vehicles, according to local media reports.

More than 40,000 people have died in Mexico over the past four years since President Felipe Calderon deployed security forces to the streets to attack powerful cartels head on.

Zacatecas has been a hot spot for violence, with the Zetas -- feared as one of Mexico's most brutal gangs -- battling rivals for smuggling turf.

Mining investment keeps flowing into Mexico, the world's top silver producer and major miner of copper, but some companies are beginning to worry about the violence and rising security costs.

Edited by: mouser on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:09am
Mon, Jul 4, 2011 - 11:40am
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

It's simple really. The

It's simple really. The Mexican government fixes this, or the country loses jobs and investment. But this is a fear tactic by the media as well trying to drive down the mining industry. I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but it was near the city. It doesn't say anything about attacking the mine.

And it wouldn't be prudent for the drug dealers to go after or shut down the mines. That is like cutting off your well paid customers, or potential customers. The drug gangs can't be that stupid can they?

“Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves.” Norm Franz
Tue, Sep 6, 2011 - 8:54pm
Joined: Sep 2, 2011

I prefer US or Canadian miners, or SVM

Good topic. Lots of good Mexican miners, but I prefer US or Canadian (or SVM) because this is becoming all to common:

Mexican silver refinery shooting kills four as drug wars spill into mining sector

Four subcontractors working at MetMex Penoles silver refinery were targeted and killed by gunmen as Mexican drug war battleground expands.

Posted: Saturday , 16 Jul 2011

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -

A gang of hitmen burst into buildings at the MetMex metals complex in northern Mexico, the world's largest producer of refined silver, killing four subcontractors, company and state officials said on Friday.

The shooting, which also injured five people, took place in service warehouses away from the refining operations at the installations run by Mexican mining company Penoles (PENOLES.MX) (FRES.L) in the city of Torreon.

Penoles official Leopoldo Lopez said metals production was not affected by the attack, one of the worst to take place inside a mining installation in Mexico.

Police said the four workers, hired on contract to do cleaning and grounds work for Penoles, were directly targeted although the motive for the hit was not yet known.

"A group of five of six armed men went after those four employees. There was a guard there who saw everything but was left alone," a state police officer in Torreon said.

The state of Coahuila, near the U.S.-Mexico border, is increasingly becoming a drug war battleground as rival cartels fight over lucrative smuggling routes to the United States. Spiraling drug violence has killed more than 40,000 people across Mexico in the past 4-1/2 years.

The attack at one of the city's main employers notches up the risks for miners working in conflict zones in Mexico, the world's top primary silver producer and major copper miner.

While mining investment remains strong, companies are increasingly rattled by rising drug killings in mining areas.

A handful of exploration projects in remote areas of Mexico have been shuttered and the national mining chamber has reported cases of drug traffickers extorting, kidnapping, attacking and selling drugs to their workers.

Theft of precious metals is also on the rise with some companies taking to shuttling their ore via expensive air freight instead of risking the open highways where trucks can be hijacked. [ID:nN14279863] [ID:nN14179021] (Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 - 8:39pm
Jasper Puddlemaker
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

Not concerned, but cautious for another reason...

The drug-gang related violence aspect doesn't particularly worry me. We are talking two separate, er, industries (which are not in competition with each other). So other than increased security costs I don't see much of a threat at this point.

What bothers me more is depleting oil supply and revenue, plus the general economic downturn. Those issues bring political change, and if the political climate looks to be making a seriously leftist move I will be out.