Drugs No Longer Mexico Cartel's Top Earner
Knights Templar now a mining, logging, extortion cartel
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2014 1:40 AM CDT
Updated Mar 17, 2014 3:03 AM CDT
A confiscated iron ore mining operation near the Pacific port of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.    (AP Photo/Eduardo Castillo)

(Newser) – Mexico's Knights Templar cartel has diversified so much that instead of being a drug cartel, the organization that started out smuggling crystal meth is now more of an extortion, logging, and mining cartel with a profitable sideline in drugs, the AP finds. In the cartel's home state of Michoacan, illegal mining is now its main source of income and government experts believe it pulls in at least another $1 million a week from extortion demands on lime and avocado producers.

Some experts say a similar shift is taking place in other cartels, with the Zetas probably now making as much from migrant smuggling and extortion as they do from drugs. "I've never looked at them as drug-trafficking organizations," the director of the Southern Pulse security consulting firm says. "They're multinational corporations that will react to market pressures and do what they have to do to stay in business."

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Drugs No Longer Mexico Cartel's Top Earner is...
5%
39%
19%
4%
25%
7%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 16 comments
clarenccharlie
Mar 18, 2014 12:20 AM CDT
Find a way to stop their other business their front or so called legal business expose ,blog . get them arrested on tax or other charge rember to help our community & country sabotage the drug cartel, mafia, drug dealers don't break the law but expose them grt them on tax or other things
Richard_A_Ga
Mar 17, 2014 12:27 PM CDT
Looks like the drug cartels learned from the best legalized crooks in the world by watching the actions of the executives of the big international banks while those same executives were laundering drug money for them.
drbarney
Mar 17, 2014 9:44 AM CDT
They are not really so unique among giant corporations in general, deadly, but so is Phillip Morris and their kind, the commercial food industry that destroys public health, they are all psychopathic and purified of any trace of conscience that might get in the way of maximizing profits. The Mexican cartels are less sophisticated in creating the illusion of being something more noble legitimate than what they are than more experienced industries that in their infancy were no less vicious; e.g. sugar plantations and tobacco farms that used slaves.