Mexico has officially seized the property of an Alabama-based company. AL.com writes that the “seizure of Birmingham’s Vulcan Materials’ terminal on the Yucatán Peninsula is focusing attention on the events involving the company in a legal fight over a quarry.
Vulcan Materials says Mexican armed forces took over its facility in the country’s southeastern most state on Tuesday, despite a court ordered stay on any government action to confiscate the property.”
Alabama officials are demanding a response from the White House, which has shown a proclivity to only help those who voted for the sitting president.
Senator Tommy Tuberville said, “For more than 30 years, Vulcan Materials Company has operated a limestone quarry in Mexico that has created good jobs both in Mexico and in Alabama. Yet time and again, President López Obrador and the Mexican government have undermined Vulcan’s ability to operate in Mexico. Last year, I urged President Biden to confront President López Obrador about the Mexican government’s aggression toward Vulcan Materials. As usual, President Biden buried his head in the sand. President Biden’s failure of leadership has only emboldened Mexico to continue taking hostile action against Vulcan that puts employees at risk and jeopardizes our supply chains in the southeast region of the United States. The illegal seizure of Vulcan’s port facility is just the latest example of the Mexican government exploiting President Biden’s weakness, and the situation will only get worse until the President addresses it head on.”
Katie Britt, the state’s newly-elected senator, also released a statement: “This forcible seizure of private property is unlawful and unacceptable. It is shameful that this Mexican presidential administration would rather confiscate American assets than the fentanyl killing hundreds of Americans per day. Mexico should be more focused on going after the cartels than law-abiding businesses and hardworking people. President Biden must raise this directly with President López Obrador and assure the American people that this will not be tolerated.”
The White House had a tepid response to Mexico’s actions and the State Department had a bland statement saying that “cases like these have the potential to impact our ability to achieve our shared vision for improving livelihoods in one of Mexico’s most economically disadvantaged regions. It also impacts Mexico’s efforts to attract future investments.”
Fox News reports some of the background on the seizure, “According to Vulcan Materials, a Birmingham, Alabama-based company and the largest producer of construction aggregates in the U.S., members of the Mexican navy, local state police, along with federal investigators, entered the quarry just south of Playa del Carmen in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state in the early morning hours of March 14 and has remained since.
The company said the seizure was likely due to the breakdown of contract negotiations between it and CEMEX, a Mexican materials company with which it had previously provided services, and ongoing tensions with the Mexican government over its mining operations.
According to Vulcan Materials, a Birmingham, Alabama-based company and the largest producer of construction aggregates in the U.S., members of the Mexican navy, local state police, along with federal investigators, entered the quarry just south of Playa del Carmen in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state in the early morning hours of March 14 and has remained since.
The company said the seizure was likely due to the breakdown of contract negotiations between it and CEMEX, a Mexican materials company with which it had previously provided services, and ongoing tensions with the Mexican government over its mining operations.”
The Alabama Daily News noted that Mexican President López Obrador “has been publicly sparring with Vulcan for over a year. He 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 Train Maya is a plan to connect Cancun to the inland areas, but the project appears doomed to failure, like most pet projects guided by politicians do.
“Some of the cement unloaded last week was apparently destined for the Maya Train project, which the president has vowed to open by December despite the fact it is well behind schedule.
Last May, the Environment Department closed Vulcan’s limestone quarry and forbade the company from exporting stone that has long been used in U.S. and Mexican building projects. The president accused the company of extracting rock and exporting it without proper permits. Vulcan said it has those permits.
López Obrador wants the water-filled quarry to be used as a theme park to rival the nearby XCaret park. He also wants Vulcan to build a cruise ship dock at the freight terminal.
López Obrador touts the train as a way to bring some of Cancun’s tourism income to inland communities that haven’t shared in the wealth. But there are no credible feasibility studies showing tourists will want to use the train,” the newspaper continued.
Last week, Joe Biden sent John Kerry to Mexico to meet with President López-Obrador and senior government officials “to discuss opportunities for Mexico and the United States to accelerate work on combating the climate crisis and advancing the clean energy transition.”
During the same week, the Mexican president said “that U.S. families were to blame for the fentanyl overdose crisis because they don’t hug their kids enough.
The comment by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador caps a week of provocative statements from him about the crisis caused by the fentanyl, a synthetic opioid trafficked by Mexican cartels that has been blamed for about 70,000 overdose deaths per year in the United States,” according to NBC News.
The Mexican president “said family values have broken down in the United States, because parents don’t let their children live at home long enough. He has also denied that Mexico produces fentanyl.
López Obrador has repeatedly said that Mexico’s close-knit family values are what have saved it from the wave of fentanyl overdoses. Experts say that Mexican cartels are making so much money now from the U.S. market that they see no need to sell fentanyl in their home market.”