Japanese multinational Mitsubishi Electric (TYO: 6503) has received threats via an anonymous pamphlet that threatens several managers and supervisors of its Bello, Antioquia factory, and accuses several employees as being complicit with the “Pachelly” criminal gang active in the area; this according to an article published yesterday in Medellín’s daily newspaper “El Colombiano.”
Bello is a crime-ridden blue-collar suburb to the north of Medellín that in recent years has suffered from both white-collar corruption by its local politicians, and a surge in criminal gang activity, leading to a crisis in homicides, intimidation and extortion. Several factories operate in the area along with Mitsubishi Electric, including a Whirlpool Haceb joint venture, and a Yamaha Incolmotors motorcycle joint venture (both 10 minutes further north in the calmer suburb of Copacabana). The Mitsubishi factory builds elevators, escalators, and air conditioners, along with other electrical products.
According to the El Colombiano article, no one has yet claimed responsibility for the threats, and Mitsubishi has reported it to the police, where it is being handled by the National Police’s GAULA unit, which specializes in dealing with crimes such as kidnappings, extortion, and abduction.
General Eliecer Camacho, commander of the Metropolitan Police of the Aburra Valley told El Colombiano that “We are verifying that it is actually a direct threat against some citizens, but we can not dismiss any kind of threat, especially if it is against recognized companies that are producing economically for our country and generating employment. ”
Bello is the location of an armed struggle between the Niquia Camacol, Mesa and Pachelly gangs. The government has sent in army troops to reinforce local police contingents.
When asked about the situation, by Finance Colombia, Mitsubishi Electric of Colombia only responded “No tenemos declaraciones al respeto.” (We don’t have statements about it).