Mexican drug cartels are not strictly drug cartels. One of their fastest growing markets is extortion of private citizens and businesses. Don’t pay, and you can be threatened — or worse. But largely, the cartels target small businesses and individuals, and stay away from the larger industries. Now several arson attacks over the weekend against a Mexican snack chip subsidiary might be the first time the cartels have targeted a multi-national corporation.
That corporation would PepsiCo. According to press reports, masked men attacked five warehouses and vehicle lots on Friday and Saturday nights belonging to the U.S. snack and soft drink giant. More specifically, PepsiCo’s Mexican subsidiary: Sabritas. Dozens of yellow delivery trucks — which transport Sabritas chips and Fritos, Cheetos and Ruffles (among other brands) for the Mexican market — were burned. The good news: no one was injured or killed. At least one member of the Knights Templar cartel was reportedly arrested. Video has also emerged of firefighters battling the blazing trucks and the European Pressphoto Agency released images of Sabritas’ smiley-face mascot illuminated by the flames.
“What we cannot allow is for this kind of isolated case to become generalized,” Gerardo Gutierrez, president of Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council, told the Associated Press. “The authorities have to take forceful action.”
Now the rumor is that the Mexican government is running surveillance operations on the cartels out of the ubiquitous Sabritas trucks (which everyone even remotely involved is categorically denying). And the Knights Templar are a bunch of dangerous lunatics even for a Mexican drug cartel. But I'm thinking screwing with a major multinational corporation is not going to end well strategically for these guys.
Alternately, here's 66% of the pitch for Expendables 3. Just saying.