Mexico to address security threats affecting mining

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Mexico to address security threats affecting mining

Mexican authorities are working to tackle security issues affecting the mining sector.

A working group has been set up by security secretary Alfonso Durazo Chávez with economy ministry and National Guard chiefs to discuss steps to bolster safety, mining undersecretary Francisco Quiroga Fernández told local financial daily El Financiero.

The move follows mounting concerns over armed robberies targeting mining companies.

In March, criminals stole doré gold-silver bars from Alamos Gold’s Mulatos mine in Sonora state before fleeing on a plane.

“We have been working very closely with [state] governors to come up with a joint diagnosis, and to set out clear priorities and measures, relating to the underlying causes of and the prevention and dissuasion of criminal activity that affects Mexico, and particularly mines, because of their situation operating in remote areas,” Quiroga said.

While the mining undersecretary did not detail the steps being considered, the establishment of a working group shows the scale of the security threat faced by Mexico’s miners.

Criminal cartels operate over swathes of Mexico, including in key mining states such as Sonora, Chihuahua and Guerrero.

Following the Mulatos incident, Sonoran mining association Amsac expressed concern over the frequency of armed robberies.

Criminal gangs view the mining sector as an easy target in part due to the weakening of security forces amid the coronavirus crisis, Carlos Cardenas, director of Latin America country risk analysis and forecasting at IHS Markit, said at the time.

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