New Mexican ambassador offers warning to Canadian companies in Mexico – by Stephanie Nolen (Globe and Mail – March 16, 2019)

Canadian mining companies operating in Mexico should be on notice that the sector is going to face increased scrutiny on its environmental practices and treatment of Indigenous people, according to the the country’s new ambassador to Ottawa.

“President [Andres Manuel] Lopez Obrador has been very public about this, that we really want a strong, profitable mining sector – and Canadian mining companies are large investors in Mexico – but we expect them to operate in this country with exactly the same standards as they do in Canada,” Juan Jose Gomez Camacho, who was ratified as the new ambassador on Thursday, said in an interview at the foreign affairs ministry in the Mexican capital.

Some 70 per cent of foreign-owned mining companies operating in Mexico are based in Canada, according to Global Affairs Canada. In 2015, Canadian firms held assets in Mexico totalling nearly US$20-billion.

Mr. Gomez Camacho said enforcement of Mexico’s existing laws will be increased under the government of Mr. Lopez Obrador, a leftist who has made combating corruption a key part of the plan for his six years in office, and improving the welfare of Mexico’s poor another.

“One area that is very important to us, in the case of the mining industry, is that we see a stronger, more robust impact on the socio-economic development of the communities where the mines are,” the ambassador said.

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