Mexican gangs go after new target: high priced corn

Reuters, 3/22/2011

Organized crime gangs equipped with automatic weapons and tractor trailers are branching out into raids on huge grain silos, in a sign of growing lawlessness in parts of Mexico’s north.

Attacks on warehouses and cargo trucks have multiplied into a near-weekly affair in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, where one of the worst cold snaps in decades wiped out corn and vegetable plots last month, pushing up prices of the remaining harvest and making it more attractive to thieves.

The unusual crime wave in major agricultural exporting states is a new headache for the Mexican government struggling to maintain the country’s image as a top emerging market.

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