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Video footage shows Mexican military, police illegally seize property owned by Alabama company

Image source: Twitter screenshot

Mexican armed forces illegally seized an Alabama-based company's port facility in the state of Quintana Roo, south of Playa Del Carmen, last week.

Surveillance footage shows a brigade of Mexican marines and police officers entering the facility owned by Vulcan Building Materials last Tuesday.

The armed forces remained in control of the facility as of Monday, according to the Associated Press, despite an order from Judge Angélica del Carmen Ortuño Suárez to vacate the property.

In a statement, Vulcan Materials said officials did not present the correct legal paperwork to justify the facility seizure.

"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."

Vulcan Materials and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador have an ongoing dispute going back several years.

The AP explained:

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.
[Vulcan] said the police officers then oversaw the unloading of cement at the port facility. The cement 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

Bloomberg News, in fact, reported that vehicles with Cemex markings were later spotted inside the facility. Cemex is a multi-national cement company headquartered in Mexico.

López Obrador has eyed Vulcan's port because it is the only privately owned Caribbean port large and deep enough to handle shipments of the stone that López Obrador needs to finish his project. He has previously pressured Vulcan to sell its property to him or the Mexican government, the AP reported, but that didn't happen.

Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) has called on President Joe Biden to resolve the matter directly with his Mexican coutnerpart.

"It is shameful that this Mexican presidential administration would rather confiscate American assets than the fentanyl killing hundreds of Americans per day," she said in a statement. "President Biden must raise this directly with President López Obrador and assure the American people that this will not be tolerated."

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also said, "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."

The Mexican government has not commented on the seizure.

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