Vulcan Materials said Mexican security forces, accompanied by CEMEX workers, illegally took possession of its port terminal in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, reported Reuters.
“We are shocked in CEMEX and in the Mexican government entities that supported this reckless and reprehensible armed seizure of our private property,” Vulcan said in a statement.
CEMEX said it has an existing contractual relationship dating back 20 years with Calica, a Mexican subsidiary of Vulcan Materials, for the use of the terminal to transport cement products. However, CEMEX has had difficulties accessing the terminal and facilities where its assets and products are located since late last year.
“After months of negotiations and failure to reach agreement with Calica, CEMEX filed a lawsuit before a local civil court, which granted injunctive relief granting CEMEX access to the terminal and allowing Cemex to continue its operations while the legal proceeding is pending,” CEMEX said in a statement, noting that Calica disregarded the injunctive order so it sought and obtained further injunctive relief and a legal warrant.
“In light of these rulings and the applicable law, on March 14, the competent authorities enforced the relief and warrant to allow CEMEX to reenter the property and reestablish its operations at the terminal,” CEMEX concluded.
Mexican 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.”