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Mexican Military Withdraws From Vulcan Materials Facility, Alabama Senators Say

Original source:


Alabama Sens. Tommy Tuberville and Katie Britt this afternoon said members of the Mexican military have withdrawn from a Vulcan Materials Co. port facility in the Yucatan peninsula.

Members of Alabama’s congressional delegation met with Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., today at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., according to Tuberville’s office.

“Sen. Tuberville can report that the Mexican military has left the Vulcan Materials Company’s port facility in Mexico. Law enforcement is no longer present at the facility,” Tuberville’s office said in a statement.

A spokesman for Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials had no immediate comment.

Vulcan Materials said Mexican armed forces took over its Punta Venado port facility in the country’s southeastern most state, Quintana Roo, on Feb. 14, despite a court-ordered stay on any government action to confiscate the property.

According to Global Cement, the dispute is just the latest chapter in a tussle between Vulcan and the Mexican government over the installation, which has been shuttered since last May. Vulcan Materials’ subsidiary Sac-Tun operates the terminal, serving the nearby Playa del Carmen quarry.

Sac-Tun previously provided handling and unloading services at the terminal for Mexican construction materials company Cemex, but its contract expired Dec. 31, 2022.

According to the Associated Press, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador needs the dock to get cement, crushed stone and other materials into the area to finish 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.

Earlier this month, a local court ruled in favor of Cemex in the dispute over its continued use of the facilities, before a higher court issued an injunction in Vulcan Materials’ favor this month. Then came the seizure.

In a statement, Britt said she was “happy to hear that Mexican governmental forces have now heeded our request to withdraw from Vulcan’s port facility, following a nearly two-week unlawful takeover.”

“There was never a legitimate reason for Mexican military and law enforcement personnel to forcibly occupy this Alabama company’s private property,” Britt stated. “I personally reiterated my objections to this unacceptable behavior to Ambassador Moctezuma today at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and asked him to convey to President López Obrador that aggression towards American interests will not be tolerated.”

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