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Fate of US brewery in drought-hit Mexico goes to Amlo poll

Author: The Guardian (UK), Published on: 20 March 2020

…The fate of a giant US brewery under construction in Mexico’s parched borderlands will be put to a vote this weekend in the latest attempt at direct democracy by the country’s populist president.

The brewery in Mexicali has provoked controversy in a region where the climate crisis has already caused droughts, and where farmers and residents have taken exception to a US company, Constellation Brands, extracting water to produce beer for export.

But the vote over its construction…has drawn criticism from both sides in the row, and unsettled critics of the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador…

Business groups have cautioned against the plebiscite, warning that a no vote could risk torpedoing investor confidence at a time when the economy is diving and investors are wary after the airport decision…

Opponents of the brewery have expressed mixed opinions on the consultation, though they previously pushed for a statewide plebiscite. Constellation Brands declined to comment on the vote.

Alfonso Cortez Lara, a water expert at the College of the Northern Border, said: “Neither of the two sides will accept the results, [which] are not binding.”

He said a more productive posture would be for the state government and national water commission to accept recommendations from the national human rights commission which found that the project “violated the human right to water”.

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Related companies: Constellation Brands