Ford Motor’s Mexico unit stated on Wednesday that a railway blockade in the Mexican border state of Sonora is impacting operations at its Hermosillo plant located in the same state, and also hitting imports and exports to and from the United States.
During the past couple of days, members of the local Yaqui indigenous community who are protesting for better land rights, have blocked railways used to move auto parts, and also 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 stated in an emailed statement according to Reuters.
“Currently, we are facing a situation unrelated to us, wherein imports and exports have been affected.”
The blockade has impacted both the Mexicali-California and the Nogales-Arizona border crossings, and so far avoided 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 over 75 million of pesos ($3.4 million).
Zozaya said protestors have been blocking the rail lines for 10 days now. Protesters are demanding the government to meet commitments to social development throughout indigenous territories.
Zozaya said the association has been in discussions with the government and protesters, and that he is confident the situation will be dealt with soon.