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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 33,082

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

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Mexican Cartel Declares War on Cheetos

Mexican drug cartels are not strictly drug cartels. One of their fastest-growing markets is extortion of private citizens and businesses. Don’t pay, and you can be threatened — or worse. But largely, the cartels target small businesses and individuals, and stay away from the larger industries. Now several arson attacks over the weekend against a Mexican snack chip subsidiary might be the first time the cartels have targeted a multinational corporation.

That corporation would be PepsiCo. According to press reports, masked men attacked five warehouses and vehicle lots on Friday and Saturday nights belonging to the U.S. snack and soft drink giant. More specifically, PepsiCo’s Mexican subsidiary: Sabritas. Dozens of yellow delivery trucks — which transport Sabritas chips and Fritos, Cheetos and Ruffles (among other brands) for the Mexican market — were burned. The good news: No one was injured or killed. At least one member of the Knights Templar cartel was reportedly arrested. Video has also emerged of firefighters battling the blazing trucks and the European Pressphoto Agency released images of Sabritas’ smiley-face mascot illuminated by the flames.

“What we cannot allow is for this kind of isolated case to become generalized,” Gerardo Gutierrez, president of Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council, told the Associated Press. “The authorities have to take forceful action.”


What’s already generalized is kidnapping, carjacking and extortion of private citizens. Corporations are simply too large, too complex, and it’s not easy — from a cartel’s perspective — to determine who within a corporation should be threatened in an extortion attempt. (Sabritas dominates the Mexican snack food market with about 75 percent market share.) If you’re looking to coerce the manager who is writing the checks, you might as well try to threaten a computer database.

Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Pemex, has been subject to attacks on its oil pipelines. But this is due to theft, not extortion. Maquiladora factories — the duty-free workshops that sprawl along the U.S.-Mexico border — have largely been spared. So why did the cartel attack PepsiCo?



more

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/cartels-cheetos/

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