Mexico says drug cartels prey on mining Firms

File--- File picture taken Sept. 15, 2020 shows aerial view of the future airport Berlin Brandenburg "Willy Brandt" in Schoenefeld, Germany, After several cancelled dates, the new Capital Airport BER is planned to open on Oct. 31. (Soeren Stache/dpa via AP, File)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico established a particular government protector force for mining operations Monday, admitting that drug cartels have preyed on the businesses, many of which are overseas.

The initial 118 mine guards graduated Monday out of a unique training program. They’re equipped with assault rifles.

Public Safety Secretary Alfonso Durazo stated, “this can help solve the strikes by organized crime within this sector of the market.”

Reports have abounded that foreign silver and gold mines were being made to make extortion payments to drug gangs. In previous decades, gangs also have stolen minerals or semi-refined metals straight in the mines.

In 2015, an organized crime group redeemed nearly 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of gold-silver combination from workers in a huge gold and silver mine in northern Mexico. The Fresnillo mining firm said the prosecution occurred close to its Herradura mine at the border state of Sonora. The business said armed men pulled upwards of a business truck and stole the metals. It said none of its workers were hurt.

The business said that the prosecution was completed by”organized crime,” a term typically utilized in Mexico to refer to drug cartels.

The business said workers have experienced safety incidents on roads resulting in the mine at a distant portion of Chihuahua country, an area plagued by drug cartels. At one stage workers were holed up in the mine, fearful to leave due to threats from armed groups, and a few workers were evacuated on personal planes.