Mexico City, Aug 8 (EFE).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that his government will order a halt to beer-brewing the drought-stricken northern part of Mexico, the world’s leading exporter of the beverage.
“It’s not saying, ‘we will no longer produce beer,’ it’s saying: ‘we will no longer produce beer in the north.’ Do you want to continue producing beer, increasing production? All support for the south-southeast,” he said during his daily press conference.
“We can no longer give permission where there is no water or where the aquifers are exhausted,” the president said.
He announced the decision in response to a question about the dire situation in the northern city of Monterrey, Mexico’s industrial hub, where more than 5 million residents are without running water for all but a few hours a day.
Lopez Obrador, commonly known as AMLO, cited figures from consultants Statista showing that Mexico climbed from fourth among global beer exporters in 1995 to top of the rankings last year.
He said that brewers can draw water from a number of rivers in southern Mexico, including the Grijalva, Usumacinta and Papaloapan.
The priority is sufficient water for human consumption and the government will intervene when necessary to ensure the correct allocation of resources, the president said, pointing to the recent revocation of the permit for a $666 million brewery in the northern border city of Mexicali.
Construction of the Constellation Brands facility was more than 75 percent complete.
Following the cancelation, which was the result of a referendum promoted by AMLO, Constellation Brands decided to invest $5.5 billion in a new plant in the Gulf coast port city of Veracruz.
The president stressed that no new water concessions have been granted since he took office in December 2018. EFE jsm/dr