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Coca-Cola to shutdown bottling operations in Mexican city due to lack of security

DBR Staff Writer Published 26 March 2018

Coca-Cola FEMSA will shut down its bottling operations in Ciudad Altamirano located in Guerrero state of Mexico due to constant security and safety threats to its employees.

Coke’s bottling plant is a joint venture between Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa) and Coca-Cola said that the facility is facing harassment from organized crime and lack of response from authorities.

The company said in a statement: “The current lack of the necessary conditions to efficiently and safely operate within this part of the State of Guerrero, as exemplified by the recent unjustified assault on one of its employees, led the Company to make this decision.”

The company faced two armed attacks this week at the facility. On Friday March 23 early in the morning, a truck carrying 20 armed men tried to enter the building but, crashed the vehicle at the main gate. Police say that the armed men intended to set the facility on fire, but the police foiled the attack.

A few days earlier, an employee of the company was shot and seriously wounded, when a group of employees was trying to open the sales section at the plant, which was closed down from January due to extortion threats.

It said that it chose to close down the operations, to ensure safety of more than 160 employees who work at its distribution center. The company also added that there is an absence of law and order in the region which forced it to close its operations, which is continuing for more than four decades. Employees of the company have been receiving constant threats and acts of aggression from organized crime from the beginning of this year.

This was not the first time that Coca-Cola FEMSA faced similar problems. Previously, the company faced similar issues in 2015, when it had to shut down one of its storage facilities for two weeks after a company manager and assistant were kidnapped and held as hostages by local students.

Release of the employees was conditional, on the release of their fellow students who were arrested for looting a Coca-Cola delivery truck.

And in the same year, the company shut down its operations in Arcelia due to constant threats from organized crime.

Coca-Cola FEMSA is a franchise bottler and is engaged in the production, distribution and marketing of certain Coca-Cola beverages.

Image: Coca-Cola FEMSA has been facing threats from organized crime in the Mexican region. Photo: Courtesy of COCA-COLA FEMSA.