Mexico violence pushes 2 companies to relocate

May 4, 2013 GMT

MORELIA, Mexico (AP) — The economic development secretary of the western Mexican state of Michoacan says two major firms have decided to relocate their distribution centers to escape violence.

Ricardo Martinez says yogurt giant Dannon and pharmaceutical company Grupo Casa Saba have moved to Queretaro and Jalisco states respectively. Another company, the PepsiCo subsidiary Sabritas, was the target of fire bombings in Michoacan last year, apparently by a drug cartel.

Martinez said on Friday that Sabritas will continue to invest in the state.

Martinez also said he is concerned that insecurity is causing a brain drain in Michoacan, long the scene of drug violence and now conflicts involving vigilantes and striking students.

His announcement came as U.S. President Barack Obama met in Mexico with President Enrique Pena Nieto to emphasize economic growth over security issues.