Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told in a press conference today that he held productive talks with Constellation Brands over its brewery in Mexicali, Mexico. He said that the American brewer accepted the outcome of a vote which stopped the construction of a 1.5 billion brewery in the Mexican border town close to the United States (inside.beer, 24.3.2020).
"It was a good meeting, there were two possibilities; one was to go to court, the other was the way of conciliation and they accepted the way of conciliation, the agreement, and that is a good thing. We informed them that it was a decision made by the citizens, that the brewery could not be operated and that the will of the people was respected," López Obrador said.
The president revealed that a new location will be sought for the construction of the 10 million hectoliter brewery. "We are already seeing alternative options: other sites and other options," the president said after meeting with company representatives.
On March 22nd, a referendum was held in the city of Mexicali over the future of the brewery in the city. Despite the fact, that the brewery was already 65% complete 76.1% of the votes opted to cancel the 1.5 billion dollar investment because they claimed that it would cause water shortages in this arid zone of the country. About USD 900 million have been invested to date and only part of it can be recovered when the brewery will be built at another site.
The consultation, promoted by the authorities, was controversial given that only 36,781 people participated out of a census of almost 800,000 citizens and authorities were asking people to stay home to prevent contagion of Covid-19.
For his part, López Obrador noticed that the stop of the construction works "will not scare off foreign investment" because the works were stained with "corruption and misuse of influence".