Mining companies in Mexico are facing increasingly complex challenges operating alongside the country’s powerful cartels, as criminals seek a growing role within the supply chain. With revenues hit by a slump in heroin prices and the government’s crackdown on fuel theft, criminal gangs have diversified into other activities, such as extortion.
But another growth area for cartels has been lucrative contracts in mining, with criminal groups establishing or taking control of local firms providing services, such as transport or construction.
Security is a major concern for Mexico’s miners, with powerful cartels having a strong presence and sometimes batting for control in mining hotspots, including in Sonora, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Guerrero states.
“The most relevant trend here is we are seeing organized crime groups getting involved in all parts of supply chains in more and more economic sectors,” Alejandra Soto, associate director at UK-based consultancy Control Risks’ Mexico City office, told BNamericas.
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