PepsiCo Soft Drink Distributor Closes Its Facility in Southern Mexico due to Drug Cartel Threats

A soft drink distributor that collaborates with PepsiCo has just declared it will cease its activity in a city in southern Mexico. When asked about its reasons, Grupo Gepp brought into discussion the high levels of danger in the area. It turns out southern Mexico and the state of Guerrero are among the biggest targets for drug cartel threats.

Grupo Gepp is the second soft drink distributor to leave southern Mexico

After a really intense period in terms of security, the soft drink distributor Grupo Gepp decided to close its headquarters in Ciudad Altamirano. As the elections are approaching on July 1st, the current climate in quite tense. As a result, the city has been the target of several assassinations with political purpose.

However, the situation is worse than you think. Since September, there have been 112 political assassinations. The last one took place on Friday, when Fernando Purón was shot while he was taking a picture with one of his supporters. This happened immediately after he ended a debate with an opposing candidate.

The violence became unbearable for many businesses, so the soft drink distributor decided it could not take it anymore. As a result, Grupo Gepp closed its facility from Ciudad Altamirano, following the example of the Coca-Cola distributor that had left a few months before.

The region is some sort of drug cartel country

All these events are easy to explain if you think of the city’s location. Ciudad Altamirano lies right at the center of the ‘Hot Land’ region, or Tierra Caliente. This area shelters the remains of several drug cartels. When the leaders of these cartels got arrested, the others in the gang gathered here and formed small but fierce groups.

These cartels have a long history with businesses. Their leaders used to threaten small companies in exchange for protection money, but they usually stayed away from big names. However, the situation has improved a bit lately. These gangs fed the US opioid market with heroin in paste form they produced after processing local poppies. However, the use of heroin decreased as the use of fentanyl increased.

Image source: Flickr

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