Mexico’s Zetas Gang Joins Coal Mining Business for Bigger Profits
Mexico’s drug cartel, the Zetas, have joined the coal mining business to increase their profits outside of their lucrative drug trading business. But legal and illegal coal mining practices in the region have mining advocates concerned for the miners’ safety and future coal mining practices.
The Zetas, one of Mexico’s drug cartels, is adding another source of income to their arsenal with illegal coal mining in the Mexican state of Coahuila.
Mines in Coahuila produce 95 percent of Mexico’s coal. From small-scale mines, the Zetas can sometimes make a greater profit margins with coal than selling illegal drugs. John Holman, a reporter for Al Jazeera, says Coahuila is home to numerous pothos, small mines, with very little regulation.
The Zetas typically use miners who aren’t highly trained, Holman says, so they can pay them poorly and make greater profits.
“These small mines as you drive through Coahuila … you can see them on the side of the roads in the coal district. And they’re literally just some men gathered around what looks a very ropey sort of machine to lower them down into the depths of the earth and bring up that coal,” he said.
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