MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Ford’s <F.N> Mexico unit said on Wednesday that a railway blockade in the Mexican border state of Sonora is affecting operations at its Hermosillo plant in the same state, as well as hitting imports and exports to and from the United States.
Over the past couple of days, members of the local the Yaqui indigenous community who are demonstrating for better land rights, have blocked railways used to move auto parts, as well as grains and steel, from Sonora to the United States.
“The recent blockade of the rail network in the municipality of Guaymas, Sonora, has affected operations at our Hermosillo plant,” Ford said in an emailed statement.
“Currently, we are facing a situation unrelated to us, wherein imports and exports have been affected.”
The blockade has hit both the Mexicali-California and the Nogales-Arizona border crossings, and so far prevented the passage of 15 trains carrying about 150,000 tons of cargo, according to the Mexican railways association AMF.
AMF President Jose Zozaya estimated it has caused losses of more than 75 million of pesos ($3.4 million).
Zozaya said demonstrators have been blocking the rail lines for 10 days now. Protesters are demanding the government fulfill commitments to social development throughout indigenous territories, according to EFE news agency.
Zozaya said the association has been in talks with the government and protesters, and that he is confident the situation will be resolved soon.
(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Aurora Ellis)