- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

MEXICO CITY (AP) - A Mexican business leader says “a significant number” of businessmen working along the U.S.-Mexican border have transferred their offices to U.S. cities to escape a wave of crime and extortion threats in Mexico.

The head of the Mexican Employers’ Federation says business owners in the border cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez have moved their operations to San Diego and to El Paso, Texas.

Federation President Ricardo Gonzalez said Tuesday that extortionists have demanded payments from businesses in the region ranging from small shops to much larger firms.

Gonzalez did not give an exact number.

Some of the extortion threats are linked to Mexico’s drug cartels, whose bloody turf battles have claimed nearly 9,000 lives in Mexico since 2006.

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