Mexican Cartel Torches PepsiCo Warehouses
Arsonists target Sabritas potato chip operations
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 30, 2012 12:30 AM CDT
Flames rise from a warehouse of the potato-chip company Sabritas in Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – In a first major attack on an American firm, members of a Mexican drug cartel have torched five warehouses owned by a PepsiCo subsidiary. Masked men were witnessed hurling firebombs that incinerated the Sabritas potato chip warehouses and dozens of delivery trucks parked outside in the states of Michoacan and Guanajato. No one was injured in the attacks, reports ABC News. Men arrested in the firebombings said the aim was to extort protection money, according to the local attorney general. But there were also indications the firebombing may have been revenge by members of the Knights Templar cartel, who believe government authorities use the snack trucks to spy on the cartel.

The Sabritas company operates close to 15,000 delivery trucks in the country that deliver Cheetos, Fritos, Ruffles, and Doritos along with Sabritas potato chips. PepsiCo spokesmen denied the company allows equipment to be used for surveillance. "In accordance with our code of conduct, our vehicles and facilities are used exclusively to carry our products to our customers and clients," said a statement.

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