US businesses hesitant to open in Mexico

May 20th, 2011 by James

US businesses hesitant to open in MexicoThe battle between drug traffickers and the army near the city of Monterrey in Mexico is threatening US businesses to stay away from Mexico.

Organized criminals are increasingly turning to kidnappings, extortion, and cargo thefts despite a government offensive against drug cartels and this has became a worrying fact for US businesses.

From news.yahoo.com:

As a result, only half of the U.S. firms surveyed recently by the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce said they would go ahead with new investment plans in Mexico and several companies, including Whirlpool Corp., have recently announced they would put new factories elsewhere citing concerns about safety.

More than 35,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of federal security forces four years ago to fight traffickers. In recent months, nearly 400 bodies have been pulled from mass graves in the northern states of Tamaulipas and Durango. There are near-daily reports of drug-gang executions, kidnappings and extortion.

The army said the Mattel workers were apparently caught in crossfire on May 6 when attackers believed to be working for the Zetas cartel assaulted a military convoy with guns and a grenade launcher from a highway overpass on the outskirts of Monterrey.

“The people of Mattel were shocked and incredibly saddened” by the attack, the company said in a statement released by spokesman Jules Andres.

But battles between government and cartel forces are increasingly common, and companies and their workers are inevitably affected.

“These acts of violence are not happening in a vacuum; they’re happening in the street that could be right out in front of your building. Bullets get shot and they have to stop somewhere,” said Dan Burges, a senior director at Freightwatch Inc., an Austin-based cargo security firm.

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