MEXICAN CARTELS TURN THEIR ATTENTION TO THE PERILS OF SNACK FOOD
June 5 2012
Monterrey, Mexico – In the traditional view, gangsters tend to be pretty bad people. They may, in the most dramatic stories, have hearts of gold but their hands are always stained with blood. In any sense of the word, gangster is associated with violence and exploitation.
Mobs, whatever their format, are far more complicated than that, however, and always have been. While they may, say, extort money from a shopkeeper they do keep that shop safe from robbery. While certainly not altruistic in its intent, gangs of any significance have always played a role in the communities they run and often that influence can be beneficial.
The Mafia, the Yakuza, even the Hell’s Angels have all made working for the community a core part of their guiding principles. It seems that the cartels in Mexico have followed in that tradition. Amidst all the decapitations and mass murders, it appears that the drug gangs effectively running huge sections of the country do care about their people and are looking out for them, at least those who don’t cross them. Specifically, the cartels have taken to attacking deliveries of junk food throughout the country, trying to prevent them from reaching their ultimate destination, the hearts and health of the people of Mexico.
“What we cannot allow is for this kind of isolated case to become generalized. The authorities have to take forceful action,” said Gerardo Gutierrez of the Business Coordinating Council in Mexico.
The isolated case he is referring to is a attack against a subsidiary of PepsiCo in which dozens of delivery trucks and tonnes of junk food were burned to the ground.
Bags of Fritos, Cheeto, and Ruffles were just some many products destroyed in the fire, salted goods which will now never enter the bodies of Mexican children.
That subsidiary, Sabritas, controls about 75 percent of snack food market in Mexico.
“Clearly the cartels have started to see the threat that junk food is to the health and well-being of the people of Mexico. That’s something that people across the world are starting to understand, obviously, but few have taken action against. The cartels are obviously willing to take that into their hands and do what is needed to stop further damage to the waistlines of the Mexican people,” said Scrape TV Business analyst Ken Green. “I’m sure there is some other kind of motivation, in particular likely concerns that too much money and too much addiction is being wasted on snack foods. It could also be that they are worried about the long term health effects. They need people to be healthy to not only sell them drugs but to also recruit them as enforcers and the like and that is threatened by snack foods.”
It’s not clear how many fat enforcers are currently working in the major Mexican cartels.
“That is the most cynical view of things, though. It could well be that the cartels
genuinely do care about the health and well-being of the people they don’t decapitate or hang from bridges. Just because they are savages that doesn’t mean they are monsters after all,” continued Green. “Sure, they may spend all of their time butchering people and causing fear in the rest but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. Heck, all that that murder could be because they care. You’d be hard pressed to figure out that logic but, well, let’s just take it for what it is. Those are snacks the people of Mexico really didn’t need to eat and now they won’t thanks to the cartels.”
Officials for PepsiCo and their subsidiary smartly had no comment.
William Ashford, Business Correspondent