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Mexico’s Coal Mining Drug Lords

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Posted on Feb 23, 2013
Robert S. Donovan (CC BY 2.0)

Coal mining in Mexico’s Coahuila state, which borders Texas, is turning out to be more profitable for the country’s Zetas gang than trafficking in illicit drugs, and some of its product finds its way into the Mexican national electricity supply.

How can coal mining be more profitable than selling illegal drugs, you might be wondering? Al-Jazeera’s John Holman reports:

“[O]ne of the big things is that in Coahuila there’s lots of small clandestine mines called pothos. And these sorts of mines have very little regulation, and so obviously they can have bigger turnover from gangs like the Zetas gang, and obviously miners in that state [are] not usually very highly trained and poorly paid. So that’s another reason they could earn a lot of money from it.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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