Vulcan Materials said that Mexican police and soldiers have illegally entered and seized a cargo port it operates on land it owns on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, according to the AP. The company said police forced their way into the Caribbean coast dock at Punta Venado, near Playa del Carmen, last week.
“It should be clear that the rule of law is no longer assured for foreign companies in Mexico,” the company said in a statement. “This invasion, unsupported by legal warrants, violates Vulcan’s commercial and property rights.”
“Our first and foremost concern is the health and safety of our employees. We have confirmed that our Vulcan family members are physically unharmed and are focused on ensuring that this remains the case,” the company wrote in an email, reported the Alabama Daily News. “We are highly concerned for our property and our business in Mexico. We have been unable to quarry and ship construction aggregate since the Mexican government illegally shut down our operations last year.”
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been in a dispute with Vulcan for several years. 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.
“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,” said Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) “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 ramifications of this illicit seizure extend into the United States, significantly hamstringing important American infrastructure, energy and other construction projects that currently rely on Vulcan’s operations in Mexico for materials. My office and I will continue to monitor this situation and ensure this is not swept under the rug.”