Mexico shuts drug cartel iron ore mines


It was the story that best captured the madness of the iron ore price. Mexican drug cartels abandoned crystal meth and cocaine in favour of iron ore shipments to China. Now, the dream is over:

Mexican authorities have shut down 946 iron ore mines in three states as part of a crackdown on infiltration by crime gangs, mining leaders said.

Government agencies have closed mines lacking proper paperwork as part of efforts to stamp out drug gang involvement in iron ore mining, particularly in Michoacán state, from where the Knights Templar drug cartel is thought to have illegally exported more than 1Mt/y to China via Lázaro Cárdenas port for at least three years.

The vast majority of the closures have been in Michoacán (854), with 72 in Colima and 20 in Guerrero states, which border Michoacán, union and mining association bosses in the states were quoted as saying by local daily Reforma.

The closures have resulted in the loss of 34,000 jobs in the three states alone, with authorities reluctant to grant permits for legal operations, the report said.

In June, environmental protection agency Profepa said shipments totaling 720,000t iron ore lacking the required documentation had been seized in recent months.

Crime gangs receive up to US$13/t iron ore by charging levies on mine owners and transportation and export fees, according to one mine owner.

Mexico produced 716,827t iron pellets in May, 1.6% up on the same month last year, according to statistics agency Inegi.

Back to white gold then!


    • well lets see.

      The cartels murder, maim and terrorise so on a moral level they are the equivalent of the rent seeking specufester oligarchs that pillage this country and holds the citizens here in thrall.

      Aside from that bad part maybe businesses here could learn a thing or two from their examples and willingness to innovate and compete in the market place.

    • That is a good story and not surprising either.

      You don’t hear military loving types talking about the prospects for world peace.

      Or for that matter – IT virus protection companies telling people if they are sensible the chances of getting a virus are low.

      Can you imagine what a simple tax code would do to the tax advice, collecting and compliance industry – the horror.

      “The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end,” said Nelson, when asked about a possible connection between the agency’s hatred of legal pot and its buddies in Sinaloa. “If it ends, they don’t get their toys and their budgets. Once it ends, they aren’t going to have the kind of influence in foreign government. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but where there’s smoke there’s probably fire.”

      and as the man says – you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Au contraire it’s clearly a conspiracy between DEA individuals and Sinoloa individuals, how does that need spelling out??

      • Good spelling is always a bonus but a bit of evidence is usually a better starting point.

      • Hmmm, and that bit of ‘evidence’ seals the deal?

        That the DEA are in a conspiracy with the drug cartels to maintain the illegal status of pot for as long as possible.

        Seems not even the narco journal is convinced.

        “But, in the end, all of the former federal agents agree that unless Zambada Niebla has proof of his allegations that passes legal muster, he has little chance of prevailing — and at least one of those former agents said prosecutors would not likely have challenged him to produce such proof if they did not have a high degree of confidence that it does not exist.”

        and why do they have their doubts?

        “…The U. S. Attorney General Guidelines for Informants requires that there be a written document called an “otherwise criminal activities memo” signed by both parties. This document spells out exactly what the informant is authorized to do and tells him that he may be prosecuted for any other illegal activities….”

        Wait hold the presses (and the caterers grade food coverings)

        “..The other possibility, the former DEA agent adds, is that Zambada Niebla was tricked on an even deeper level, and was, in fact, not dealing with US law enforcement agencies, but rather a CIA intelligence operation…”

        Say that magic word CIA and it all makes sense.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Really Pfh007 is there not amount of smoke and heat that will lead you to conclude that the most idiotic and ineffectual “War” in the history of humanity is being manipulated by interests much greater than whatever fool is the head of whatever organisation on any given day??

        An investigation by a major Mexican newspaper, El Universal, has concluded that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency entered into agreements—dating back to 2000 and continuing through 2012—with Mexico’s largest drug trafficking gang, the Sinaloa Cartel.

        Is Forbes Ok?

        EDIT: Have you ever heard of Iran/Contra?? The CIA yes I’ll say that again, the CIA, through avenues in the Pentagon *cough* Ollie North *cough* were selling arms to Iran, using the money to fund the contras and getting back boatloads of cocaine as pay off. So much they had to create the crack epedimic just to get rid of it…

  1. You’d the Mexican government would want to encourage these honest attempts to go straight.

    • I think the problem would be that when a criminal network with a history of killing politicians undertake an economic activity they generally do so without paying royalties or taxes for those resources, thereby exploiting the wealth of the citizens of the country at no cost.

      Remind us of anyone ???