Saturday, December 2, 2023

Mazatlán expects court ruling next week on brewery’s water debt

The Pacífico brewery in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, accused of owing 300 million pesos (almost US $15 million) to the city’s water authority, will hear the verdict of litigation proceedings on August 18.

State authorities cut off the water supply to the brewery on July 9 due to the payment dispute, but turned it on again soon after so as not to affect the 1,500 people the brewery employs.

The initial action was taken despite a district court ruling in Pacífico’s favor on May 14, which granted a provisional suspension order and stated that the brewery wasn’t required to pay the alleged debts.

The Grupo Modelo-owned brewery has rejected the claim, which was first detailed in a letter from the same authorities on April 20, advising it that it had an outstanding connection fee owed to the Sinaloa government. That letter didn’t specify the amount owed.

Mazatlán Mayor Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres originally stated the alleged debt was around 100 million pesos, but later revised the figure upward to 300 million pesos.

Benítez said the brewery’s owners had agreed to pay the alleged debt, if the judge finds against them. “There is a commitment on the part of the chairman of the board of Grupo Modelo at the national level, that as soon as a judge clarifies the situation they will pay immediately,” he said.

He added that negotiation with the company was possible, as they had argued that they hadn’t been aware of the situation since the brewery was acquired. It is unclear which acquisition Benítez was referring to.

The Pacífico brewery has operated at its current location in Mazatlán for the past 39 years. Grupo Modelo, now owned by multinational beverage company Anheuser-Busch InBev, acquired the brewery in 1954.

With reports from Noroeste and Revista Espejo 

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