Juarez, Mexico, Oct 13 (EFE).- Just two days after it was opened, the Bridge of the Americas crossing between Mexico and the United States was blocked again on Friday by roadblocks put up by the Texas Department of Public Security (DPS), affecting the movement of around 20,000 export shipments stuck in the Mexican city of Juarez.
Thor Salayandia Lara, the vice-president of the border and free trade zone manufacturing section of the national chamber of transformative industry (CANACINTRA), told EFE that Texas governor Gregg Abbot was seriously harming the interests of three nations by violating the free trade agreement between Mexico, US and Canada (USMCA).
“It is urgent that the federal governments of the two countries stop the Texas governor because the inspections that he is carrying out are unjustified and the damage being done to both the economies is massive,” Salayandia Lara said.
The roadblocks at the Juarez bridge come after the DPS also blocked the trailers crossing from the the city of Colombia in Mexico’s Nuevo Leon province.
Salayandia Lara said this made it clear that Texas authorities intend to enforce an economic blockade of Juarez as well as Colombia (Nuevo Leon).
“Goods worth over $2.5 billion have been blocked already just in Juarez, this is equivalent to 3 percent of the annual exports of the state of Chihuahua. This is a massive damage that is being done and both the chambers of commerce and governments are doing nothing to stop it,” he alleged.
The US had shut down movement of exports from the Bridge of the Americas on Sep. 18 in order to deploy all border personnel for processing immigrants in view of a migrant crisis along the border..
The same day, the customs at Juarez and El Paso (Texas) stopped functioning and shipments were stranded.
On Sep. 20, when the system was restarted, the Texas DPS set up roadblocks for up to six hours for trailers just after they came out of the customs, triggering long queues..
In view of the situation, on Monday the Mexican government sent a diplomatic note to the US authorities expressing concern over the security measures enforced by the Texas government.
On Tuesday, the bridge was reopened for exports, generating hope among Juarez’s private sector and exporters that the over 20,000 stranded shipments could now be moved gradually. EFE