Mexican farmers protest construction of US brewery

Global Business

Farmers in one Mexican state, are protesting against building a U.S. brewery there.

They said the benefits the company is promising do not measure up to the precious resource it will be taking away, from local families.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports.

Historically, agriculture has been the driving force for the local economy in Mexico’s Mexicali Valley, but times are changing. A controversial decision by Baja California state government officials to attract a major beer maker has triggered a conflict over water.

In January, the protesters blocked Baja California state government plans to finance and build an aqueduct.

Officials confirm it would move 20 million cubic meters of water a year directly to Constellation’s new brewery. In a statement the company said, the Constellation Brands is committed to being a good corporate citizen and making a positive contribution to the Mexicali community.

The company added it will create more than 750 jobs in Baja California and safeguard the region’s water supply.

Protest leader Rigoberto Campos has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to block Constellation from moving jobs to Mexico.

“It’s an American company. The state government does not attend to the needs of local farmers as it should. But it does attend to foreign investors, snatching water away from local farmers,” Campos said.

The beer-maker said its new brewery running will use 7 million cubic meters of water a year, or less than 1 percent of the valley’s water supply.

Protesters said they are willing to put their lives on the line and defend the local water supply against the beer company. As tensions grow, Constellation Brands continues building this controversial brewery.