Mexican Military seized American property, Alabama lawmakers livid
March 24, 2023

Mexico is facing mounting pressure from the US following the Mexican military seizure of American company Vulcan Materials’ property in the eastern state of Quintana Roo earlier this month.

Vulcan Materials is the largest producer of construction aggregates in the U.S. and has its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama.

According to Vulcan, members of the Mexican navy, local state police, and federal investigators entered its quarry just south of Playa del Carmen in the early morning hours of March 14 and have remained there since.

The company believes 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 seizure has been widely condemned by American lawmakers and government officials, who have called on the Mexican military to immediately withdraw its troops from Vulcan’s property.

In a letter to Mexican Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, the entire bipartisan Alabama congressional delegation, along with Sens. Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville, demanded an explanation for the “unlawful” entry onto Vulcan’s property and requested a meeting with the ambassador.

“While these events on their own are concerning enough, it seems that this is just the latest in a pattern of the Mexican government ignoring the rule of law,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, describing numerous instances they said the Mexican government had harassed the company prior to the seizure.

Rep. Gary Palmer, who is leading the delegation’s effort, said in a statement following the letter being sent to Moctezuma that once the situation is resolved, they would need assurances a similar situation wouldn’t occur in the future. “This action by the Mexican military is unprovoked and unacceptable,” he said. “The Mexican government needs to immediately recall their troops from Vulcan Materials’ port and ensure it will not happen again.”

The situation has also drawn the attention of the U.S. State Department, which warned of the potential impacts such action could have on trade and future economic opportunities for Mexico. In a statement on Tuesday, the Department said it was actively engaged in the situation with the Mexican government and would continue to monitor it closely.

The Mexican Military has yet to respond publicly to the demands of American lawmakers or to provide a clear explanation for the seizure. The situation remains unresolved and continues to be closely monitored by both the U.S. and Mexican governments, as well as by Vulcan Materials and other American companies operating in Mexico.

The incident could have significant implications for the broader relationship between the U.S. and Mexico and for American investment in the country.

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