Mexico sues BP over Gulf disaster as oil giant faces 2,200 new lawsuits in less than two months

April 30, 2013

energy - oil_rigThe Telegraph, 4/30/13

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, 2010, killed 11 men and unleashed the worst offshore oil spill in US history. In first-quarter results on Tuesday, BP said that since March 6 it had been named as a defendant “in more than 2,200 additional civil lawsuits brought by individuals, corporations and government entities” and warned that “further actions are likely to be brought”.

It said the plaintiffs in these cases included “a foreign government”, understood to be Mexico, which had threatened to sue BP soon after the 2010 accident. BP said it believed the onslaught of new lawsuits had been submitted ahead of the third anniversary of the disaster, after which the company could have tried to use a statute of limitations to dismiss their claims.

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Trade Unions Fight Walmart in Mexico

April 25, 2013
Photo by Flickr user Elmada

Photo by Flickr user Elmada

Inter Press Service, 4/24/13

Trade unions in Canada, the United States and Mexico are preparing protests and legal action against the Mexican subsidiary of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, which is accused of paying bribes and breaching labor rights. Unions in the three North American countries want the company to be penalised by the Mexican authorities, and are calling for a ban on opening more stores on artistic or natural heritage sites.

The Walmart scandal erupted on Apr. 21, 2012 when the New York Times reported that the firm had paid 24 million dollars in bribes to Mexican officials between 2002 and 2005 to expedite the opening of new stores, a possible violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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Mexican consumer protection agency files suit against Telmex

April 1, 2013

TelmexChicago Tribune, 3/31/2013

The Mexican government’s consumer protection agency said on Sunday it had opened a class action lawsuit against Carlos Slim’s fixed line phone company Telmex for making illegal charges. Rafael Ochoa, a legal expert at the federal prosecutor’s office for the consumer (Profeco), said Telmex had made unwarranted charges for a privacy service and that Profeco had filed the suit with a federal civil court in Mexico City.

Profeco took the step after noticing that Telmex was charging users some 10.40 pesos ($0.84) a month for a data protection service that was a constitutional right, said Ochoa. It was unclear how many customers could join the suit and how much Telmex might be liable for, he noted.

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AB InBev offers Modelo deal concessions

February 15, 2013

FEMSA BEERS by kirinqueenFinancial Times, 2/14/2013

Anheuser-Busch InBev has offered to offload assets and licences in a bid to win regulatory approval for its $20bn takeover of Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewer.

The world’s largest brewer by sales has offered to sell a high-tech brewery in Mexico and offload its US perpetual rights over the Corona and Modelo beer brands in response to the US Department of Justice’s lawsuit to block the takeover on antitrust grounds.

It also intensified its estimation of revenue and cost benefits by $400m to $1bn annually in the process. Carlos Brito, chief executive, said he believed the changes addressed DoJ concerns. “And the deal is even better because we uncovered more synergies,” he said.

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Justice Dept. Seeks to Block Anheuser’s Deal for Modelo

January 31, 2013

FEMSA BEERS by kirinqueenDealbook / The New York Times, 1/31/2013

The Justice Department sued on Thursday to block Anheuser-Busch InBev’s proposed $20.1 billion deal to buy control of Grupo Modelo of Mexico, arguing that the merger would significantly reduce competition in the American beer market. The deal, announced last summer, would add Corona Extra to the company’s formidable stable of brands, including Budweiser and Stella Artois.

But the Justice Department said in its lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, that allowing the merger to proceed would reduce competition in the beer industry across the country as a whole and in 26 metropolitan areas in particular. The combined company would control about 46 percent of annual sales in the country, the government said, far outpacing Anheuser-Busch InBev’s closest competitor, MillerCoors.

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Mexico’s Ernesto Zedillo May Be Immune from US Lawsuit over Massacre

September 10, 2012

Fox News, 9/9/12

Former President Zedillo participated in the panel

The U.S. State Department argues that  former president of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, should be granted immunity from a  lawsuit filed in Connecticut over the 1997 massacre of 45 people in a Mexican  village.Zedillo, who is now an international studies professor at Yale University,  had argued that his status as a former national leader gave him immunity from  the lawsuit. He has denied the allegations that he bears responsibility for the  massacre by paramilitary groups in Acteal, in the southern state of Chiapas.

A State Department legal adviser, Harold Hongju Koh, wrote in a letter Friday  that Zedillo is entitled to immunity because the lawsuit centers on actions  taken in his capacity as president. He noted also that the Mexican government  had requested a determination of immunity

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Mexican truckers sue U.S. for $6 billion

June 1, 2009

Los Angeles Times, 6/1/2009

truckingMexican truckers are seeking $6 billion in compensation from the U.S., alleging that its northern neighbor isn’t complying with a cross-border trucking plan under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The trucking ban on Mexico “is flagrant discrimination against Mexico and its citizens, which not only violates NAFTA but also ethical principals and fundamental rights recognized internationally,” the chamber said in the statement. The chamber didn’t say in what U.S. court the lawsuit had been filed.

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L.A. detainees sue immigration authorities over holding conditions

April 3, 2009

Los Angeles Times, 3/3/2009

Federal authorities are violating immigrant detainees’ constitutional rights by holding them for weeks at a detention facility in downtown Los Angeles that was designed as a short-term processing center, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

“We just want them to follow the minimum standards guaranteed by the Constitution and the statutory rights the detainees have,” Orihuela said.

The center is “regularly overcrowded, causing violence, safety hazards and humiliation,” while detainees are denied access to attorneys and courts and are rarely provided drinking water or a change of clothing, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Immigration Law Center and the Paul Hastings law firm.

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