BOYCOTT MODELO: Water Privatization and Solidarity With Baja California

Jan 24, 2018
2:14 pm

Editor’s Note: Originally published at Tropics of Meta. Thanks, ToM, to for giving us permission to republish the piece here.

For over a year now, Mexicali resistance groups have been defending the capital of Baja California’s water supply against foreign investment brewery Constellation Brands, installing themselves in the territory through a serious of dubious dealings and contracts with the state government of Baja California and its governor Francisco “Kiko” Vega.

Constellation Brands is a Fortune 500 company, an international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with recognizable imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, Pacifico and Ballast Point. Via various shady, undocumented agreements, Constellation Brands was promised private access to public water, igniting a civilian-led resistance that has resulted in everything from blocking government halls, gated congress sessions, and riot police evacuations at camps in the civic center and brewery construction site, as well as the strengthening of a watchdog research culture and pacific civil defense to protect our water for future generations.

Last Tuesday, just days after their first anniversary of resistance, Mexicali resistance groups sustained one of their most intense clashes with police as they tried to hold back construction machinery once more in an effort to suspend Constellation Brands’ efforts to subtract Mexicali’s water in order to export beer to California. Farmers have joined the struggle, since the government has ignored their concerns of getting less water if the brewery sets up shop in a drought-strained climate.

And we have had enough. We need more media in the United States to cover this to exert pressure on Constellation Brands in their own region and call attention to a boycott of all of their product.

Mexicali Resiste has become a fierce movement, a watchdog that has created a culture of documentation and research amongst its citizens, making several politicians uncomfortable, when not entirely exposing them. Choosing to camp out in extreme weather blockades, all the while facing a severe threat of violence by police forces on several levels, and enduring a theatre of government bluffs, Mexicali Resiste has become an organic organizational model in Baja California by setting up its own legal, communications, and other internal committees while utilizing social networks as a tool for informing the community it is serving.

Still, we need all the help we can obtain to raise consciousness amongst the public in the United States, the primary consumer of Constellation Brands products. Our goal in light of recent events, is to spread awareness so that a sympathetic community in the U.S. will join a boycott of this product, particularly within Latino communities who think they are consuming a Mexican product when indeed they are hurting us.

We have added the organization’s manifesto below. You can find out more at their website and Facebook page, as well as news coverage in La Jornada (here and here) and Mexico News Daily

In Mexicali WE DEFEND OUR WATER

BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS for taking away this resource

TO THE COMMUNITY AND THE IMMIGRANTS OF THE UNITED STATES

TO THE DIFFERENT NATIONS AROUND THE WORLD.

The city of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, needs your help. “CONSTELLATIONS BRANDS” Brewing Company insists on depriving us of our own water in order to export it to the United States as beer. Because of this, we are asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS in defense of our water, and we ask you NOT TO CONSUME any CONSTELLATION BRANDS product. This company is also owner of GRUPO MODELO in the United States. If money is what drives the economic interests of this corrupt company, we must strike where it hurts the most: economically.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because we are tired of being the petty-cash-country of the United States, economic super-power to which the Mexican government has given mining, oil, beaches, land, and, finally, our water. But because water is a non-renewable and vital natural resource for all life in this plane, to fight for it is also a fight for SOVEREIGNTY and NATIONAL SECURITY, as well as a struggle for the DEFENSE OF OUR TERRITORY. This foreign company has arrived only to find anything of value in Mexico and take it as money to its banks and money-safes.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because this brewing company has come to Baja California to dry us out, just as it did to the municipality of Nava, Coahuila, Mexico.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because they come to Mexico to pay almost no taxes, to buy land at ridiculous prices, and to displace the Mexicali Valley farmers with threats and violence.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because they come to pay low wages and take our water without any regards, and then want to pay for it as if they were a regular client due to a decree by governor FRANCISCO “KIKO” VEGA DE LAMADRID, benefiting the U.S. company with the lowest water rate available.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because of the repeated massive security deployments of every police force of the State to protect a beer company. And we remind you that these are police forces who are paid for with tax money from every Baja California citizen, thus placing the economic interests of the United States before Mexican citizens’ right to public safety.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because the construction companies that are doing this job belong to politicians like VÍCTOR HERMOSILLO CELADA and State-related companies that have benefited from illegal tax exemptions, like GRUPO CADENA, supporting themselves on their political influence with the Baja California government for many years.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because this is a monument to corruption around the world and to the unlawful influence of U.S. economic interests and the Mexican political and economic elite.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because the corrupt company by the name of CONSTELLATION BRANDS is taking away our water and is spilling our blood: blood of us Mexicans who put our bodies before the local and state police of Baja California, both of them bought by foreign money.

We’re asking you to help us BOYCOTT CONSTELLATION BRANDS because the Latino community in the United States and abroad is being sold a marketed image of Mexican pride when the purchase of these GRUPO MODELO/CONSTELLATION BRANDS products in the United States are indeed hurting their Mexican brothers and sisters, their families.

This is how we ask for your help to share and spread this information to all the corners of the United States and the world.

STOP DISPOSSESSION, ABUSE, CORRUPTION, AND THE IMPUNITY OF CORRUPT INDUSTRIES AND POLITICIANS!

Not a single isolated struggle anymore!

Wholeheartedly,

GRUPO-COLECTIVO MEXICALI RESISTE

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