We’ve heard many heartbreaking stories of American tourists venturing into Mexico only to be kidnapped or, worse, killed in crazy cartel drug war battles. It appears these days, no one is safe across the southern border, not even US-owned companies.
Bloomberg reported that Mexican marines and police officers seized US construction firm Vulcan Materials’ port terminal near Playa del Carmen in southern Mexico.
Footage from the seizure showed a long line of police and military units entering the property last Tuesday.
In a statement, Vulcan Materials claimed that Mexican officials did not possess any legal documentation to warrant the seizure of the terminal.
“It should be clear that the rule of law is no longer assured for foreign companies in Mexico,” the Alabama-based company said in a statement. “This invasion, unsupported by legal warrants, violates Vulcan’s commercial and property rights.”
AP News pointed out that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the company have been in a multi-year dispute:
López Obrador needs the dock to get cement, crushed stone and other materials into the area to finish his pet project, a tourist train known as the Train Maya. The president shut down Vulcan’s stone quarries last May, arguing the company had extracted or exported stone without approval.
US lawmakers, including Republican Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, voiced concern about the forced takeover of the terminal. He said this “adds to the trend of misguided and counterproductive behavior” by the Mexican president.
This presents a significant concern for US companies considering relocating production from China to Mexico – how can they be sure their businesses will be safe from government seizure?