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Pepsico Mexican Unit Firebombed as Officials Point to Cartel

A leader of a Mexican drug cartel was among four people detained for allegedly firebombing facilities owned by PepsiCo Inc. in one of the worst attacks on a multinational company in the violence-ravaged nation.

Gunmen torched five warehouses and several delivery trucks owned by Pepsico’s Sabritas potato chip unit over the weekend in the western states of Michoacan and Guanajuato. A leader of the Knights Templar, a spinoff of the La Familia cartel, was among those captured, Guanajuato’s attorney general, Carlos Zamarripa, said on his Twitter account.

Over 47,000 people have been killed since Mexico began a pitched battle against drug cartels when President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006. Michoacan Governor Fausto Vallejo said it was the worst attack against a multinational in Mexico and that such incidents scare away investment in his state, Milenio TV reported.

The firebombing “caused damage to the warehouses, delivery vehicles and products that have yet to be quantified,” Sabritas said in its statement. “There were no injuries or lives lost. All of our vehicles and buildings are completely dedicated to delivering our product to our clients and consumers.”

Authorities are investigating the motive for the attack and did not offer any immediate explanation about why Sabritas had been targeted.

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