Mexican Police Seize Ore and Equipment in Raid
April 4, 2014
It's no secret that the proliferation of drug cartels in Mexico has infiltrated nearly every segment of the country and recently, Mexican police raided the seaport of Lazaro Cardenas. The raid targeted 11 iron ore yards at one of the country's largest seaports after allegations that drug cartels had been exporting ore to China.
During the raid, authorities seized more than 100,000 tons of ore as well as a trove of mining equipment including 124 bulldozers, backhoes and trucks. The federal security commissioner for western Michoacan state said the ore is being tested to determine which mines it came from and whether they were legally registered.
Back in November, the government took control of the port to cut off illicit income for the Knights of Templar drug cartel. Federal officials claim the notorious cartel had been mining, stealing and extorting iron ore for several years.
Experts in drug trafficking say many cartels will use legitimate operations to launder money and that mining and exporting are just two areas the cartels can be found. Mexico has a booming mining industry and experts say it is no surprise the cartels would strong arm their way into the market.