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Traditional (Criminal) Values

23 July 2007

Not MY lust for gold though I can understand people taking some radical steps to raise cash. Around here, the mines gave out years ago (and a bentonite robbery just doesn’t have the same cachet) juThe Mex Files is written from a very rural, isolated corner of the U.S./Mexican border (the Texas Big Bend) where there aren’t a lot of outside economic opportunities. I do a little free-lancing for the local papers, and live modestly. But, my own bills — compounded by the problems caused by a mentally ill neighbor I helped out who wrote me several large bad checks to cover her expenses — mean I’ll have to discontinue the Mex Files unless more financial support is available.

I need to raise a few hundred dollars immediately, and about 12,000 over the year. That’s only $30 a reader, given 400 “regulars” — and maybe some from people reading this…

If you prefer to send a check, money order or make other arrangements, please write me at “richmx2 -AT- excite -DOT- com” and include “Mex Files” in the subject line.

Sonora really is the wild west…

Back on June 6, Sierra Minerals (a Canadian company, as are most of the big mining operations in Mexico) sent out a press release:

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(CCNMatthews – June 6, 2007) – Sierra Minerals Inc. today reported an armed robbery at its Cerro Colorado Gold Mine in Sonora, Mexico. Three gold bars (roughly 750 oz gold) worth approximately US$502,000 in aggregate were stolen from the secured gold room on the project hours before the armoured truck was due to arrive to transport the bars to a U.S. based refinery. …

The gold bars that were stolen represent 14 days’ worth of production, at the current annualized production rate of roughly 18,000 gold ounces per annum. This is the first time since the inception of mining operations at Cerro Colorado in 2004 that an incidence of armed robbery has occurred, and the Company is taking the following steps to further tighten security at the mine and to prevent any repeat occurrences of this nature

Gary Cooper being unavailable, the mine owner was looking at a U.S. security consultant and high-tech solutions. (Geeze, guys, stop trying to make Mexico into Canada). The banditos, not being sporting I guess, didn’t wait for the consultants.

Last Wednesday, they were back, this time making off with 33 kilos of refined gold, worth about $650 thousand.

Although the item in El Universal called them “Commandos”, these were just old-fashioned gold mine robbers. Nothing to do with politics or weird conspiracies involving international financing or even anti-Canadian plots (though, if you want to hold up a gold mine in Mexico, you have to rob Canadians)… ordinary decent criminals.

Fashions change over the years, but Mexico keeps it’s traditions. The banditos weren’t wearing the traditional bandana over the face and waving six-shooters (they were in cammies and ski-masks and carried R-15s), but it’s nice to see that Mexico hasn’t gotten so decadent that there are 24-hour cable networks breaking in with breathless stories about every detail and worried talking heads yabbering about “terrorists”.

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