Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe tore into the Biden administration after reports surfaced that the Mexican military helped seize assets from American company Vulcan Materials.
Vulcan Materials alleges that they are engaged in a current conflict that stems from the expiration of a lease by a Mexican multinational building materials company, CEMEX.
A statement issued by the company indicates CEMEX had armed Mexican police and military storm Vulcan’s port facilities near Playa del Carmen. The military presence remains there today.
“On March 14 and to this day, CEMEX, the military and the police have not presented any court order, warrant or other legal justification for their forceful entry and occupation of Vulcan’s property,” the statement reads.
The assets, which include a quarry and a cement plant, are valued at over $100 million.
The seizure of a US company’s terminal by Mexican military threatens to escalate tensions https://t.co/FFZhvaB5Bm
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 20, 2023
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John Ratcliffe Rips Biden: Now Mexico is Kicking Sand in Our Faces?
Ratcliffe called out President Joe Biden and his administration following reports that the Mexican military had aided in the seizure of Vulcan Materials’ assets.
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“Getting pretty used to the Biden administration letting China and Russia kick sand in our faces (covid and fentanyl deaths, spy balloons, taking down U.S. MQ-9 Reaper)—but now Mexico, too?” he tweeted.
🚨 WATCH: The Mexican military seized a U.S. company’s (Vulcan Materials) marine terminal in Mexico. This is insane, @SecBlinken @JakeSullivan46
More from Bloomberg —> “Vulcan Facility Seizure Adds to Tension Between US and Mexico” https://t.co/el9GMN1Nv8 pic.twitter.com/gvj40ziefz
— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) March 19, 2023
Ratcliffe demanded the White House “engage immediately to defend a U.S. company and to protect U.S. interests” noting that as the only deep water port on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico’s seizure represents “significant geopolitical and economic implications.”
Getting pretty used to the Biden administration letting China and Russia kick sand in our faces (covid and fentanyl deaths, spy balloons, taking down U.S. MQ-9 Reaper)—but now Mexico, too? The Biden administration needs to engage immediately to defend a U.S. company and to… https://t.co/0ZmiGxBgdU
— John Ratcliffe (@JohnRatcliffe) March 20, 2023
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Republican Lawmakers Voice Concerns Over Vulcan Materials Seizure
A handful of Republican lawmakers joined Ratcliffe in voicing their concerns over the seizure of the Vulcan Materials port assets.
Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) issued a statement demanding the Biden administration “engage immediately” over an incident he describes as Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s “trend of misguided and counterproductive behavior.”
A year ago, I warned AMLO planned to seize US assets in Mexico. Now it’s happened. Add this to his inaction vs rampant cartel violence & drugs, his denial that fentanyl is produced in Mexico & his threat to meddle in US elections. Unacceptable behavior.https://t.co/JcADeZbqQB https://t.co/jnicel4Etv
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) March 21, 2023
Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) also released a statement earlier this week in response to the Mexican government’s seizure of Vulcan Materials’ port facility.
“This forcible seizure of private property is unlawful and unacceptable,” Britt said. “It is shameful that this Mexican presidential administration would rather confiscate American assets than the fentanyl killing hundreds of Americans per day.”
She added that Biden must raise the issue “directly with President López Obrador and assure the American people that this will not be tolerated.”
It’s been over a week, and Mexican governmental forces continue to militarily occupy an Alabama company’s private property — despite a Mexican federal court ordering all government forces to vacate the premises.
This is unacceptable, and @POTUS should say so. https://t.co/toMZ5NMcvU
— Senator Katie Boyd Britt (@SenKatieBritt) March 21, 2023
Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) recently accused Obrador of being “bought off by the cartels.”
Listen — @DanCrenshawTX torches Mexican President AMLO over recent election interference threats, calling Lopez Obrador “bought off by the cartels:” https://t.co/EuZOl8fbR1
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 15, 2023
The Mexican government has yet to comment on the seizure, and it remains to be seen if it is related in any manner to the ongoing conflict between the government and the drug cartels.
Vulcan Materials is a major supplier of materials to the construction industry, and the cartels are known to use construction materials to facilitate their operations.
Obrador has accused the company of extracting materials without the proper permits and shut down operations at the Vulcan terminal last year.
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