Borderland Beat posted by DD with material from National Post
DD: While many of the individuals that we see in the news reports of their arrest appear to be stupid, as business entities the cartels in general are far from being stupid.
When FBI agents asked 1930's gangster Willie Sutton why he robbed banks, he replied "Because that is where the money is".
While cartels have been stealing iron ore (or entire mines) and oil and gas from pipelines for a long time stealing gold from a gold mining company is much easier and more profitable. It takes a hell of a lot of big trucks and tankers to haul enough iron ore or oil to add up to $8,500,000, which is what this latest heist from a Canadian gold mining company yielded. Willie Sutton didn't rob homes or gas stations or church collection plates, he robbed banks "because there is where the money is" - meaning a lot of it and concentrated in one small place.
If you asked the thieves in this case why they robbed the gold mining company, they might have looked at you as if you were crazy for asking and answered the same as Willie Sutton did "its where the money is".
The gold was in the form of gold bearing concentrate weighing about 900 (approx. 2000 lbs) kilograms that contained about 7000 ounces of gold.and could be transported in a pickup.
McEwen Mining Inc. says the theft occurred Tuesday at it's refinery at the El Gallo 1 mine in Western Sinaloa state. While McEwen is insured, its policy won’t be enough to cover the entire expected loss.
“The crime is being vigorously investigated by the Mexican authorities,” the company’s statement read.
The Toronto-based company has operations in Mexico, Nevada and Argentina.
As we have reported on Borderland Beat, this isn’t the first violent incident affecting Canadian mining companies in Mexico this year. Last month, four Goldcorp Inc. workers in the troubled Guerrero state went missing in an apparent kidnapping, while contractors and an employee of Torex Gold Resources in the same region were kidnapped in February.
There are many people that live in the areas that are being mined (and that is a good part of central and southern Mexico) are probably laughing at the loss of the 8 1/2 million dollars by the Gold Mining Company. They feel like the government and the mining companies have stolen the land the land they are mining.
In Mexico, underground mineral deposits are considered property of the federal government, and their authority to grant mining concessions supersedes, in theory, the rights of those who possess private and communal property on the surface. For decades the residents of the areas that are being mined have fought the government opposing the mining concessions on their land. A provision in the constitution complicates the issue of the government issuing concessions to whoever and where ever they want.
The constitution recognizes Indigenous peoples descended from populations which inhabited the country before the formation of the state. As such, their law is above the State. Though the Indigenous population has been the best organized opposition to mining concessions, other residents have joined their protests against mining because they claim it pollutes their water supply and degrades the surface in such a way that it will never be usable.
The locals are almost never consulted prior to the issuance of a concession. The mining companies are sometimes so confident they could get a concession from the government that they don't even bother to do it. The rights of the locals, mostly poor and uneducated have been ignored for long they don't bother consulting with them or carry out a environmental impact study. They just show up and start mining.
But crazy things do happen. Sometimes the good guys (the people) win a battle. As reported in Mex Files
If you pick it up, put it back…Ejido El Bajio, in Caborca, Sonora, was robbed!
For several years, the ejido has “hosted” (in the sense of being the source of sustenance for a parasite) a Minera Penmont operation which somehow “neglected” to ever get permission to mine.
The ejidarios sued in Agrarian courts in 2010, and — in a partial victory — won their suit in June 2014, which only called for the restoration of damages between the commencement of the suit and the court ruling.
However, the court (Tribunal Unitario Agrario, Distrito 28) issued an injunction (amparo) on restitution, under the argument that the company needed to assess the mine, and recover their own equipment. Although the injunction was lifted on December, to date, the company has yet to publish the ruling … mostly because of the likely impact on its stock prices.
And, apparently, is still mining.
And, the Ejido El Bajio is waiting for not just land reclamation… the company owes them nine tons of gold and four tons of silver… though the Ejido will probably take a check made out for $350,000,000 (US)… as long as its good..