Mary Nour writes to the president

Mary Nour writes to the president
Published: 15 September 2004

The Mexican based Commercio para el Desarrollo Mexicano (CDM), heavily involved in the Mary Nour import case has published a paid-for letter in the national Mexican press stating its case for imports. In essence, CDM saw a new opportunity in marketing cement to the National consumer. That’s why it partnered with CTI Group, of Jordan, and Tradeland Commodities, of Spain.

“Threatening visits to CDM offices and our homes by, supposedly, federal agents; nameless accusations of us trafficking illegal merchandise made with no foundations; legal cases against CDM,  protests and blockages that try to make our company give up, present Mexico as a nation where Authorities are double faced that lacks basic safe Law for investment.

“Well beyond a commercial matter, the Mary Nour case represents the struggle of a company that tries to use its rights to make a legitimate business in an atmosphere where Law is respected; where all Mexicans receive equal treatment and where there is transparency within government between saying and doing. All the above are basic factors to achieve the development of the Nation.

“Importing cement is the beginning of a long term business and the first stage of a permanent and innovative industrial project invested by CDM. Cement industry is capital intensive not labour intensive. Despite this, the few employments that could be affected by this import operation are far less than the ones created as a result of the additional infrastructure works that could be done with this innovative commercial option.

“Without competition, cement price (in Mexico) is 50 to 70 percent higher than the rest of the world. This results in a burden to public interest that benefits the personal interests of a few particulars.

“CDM is importing the cement cargo through its subsidiary, “Máquinas, Carros y Camiones”,which was a result of the impediment  made by the Cámara Nacional del Cemento (Canacem) that refused to register CDM in the Padrón Sectorial, arguing a lack of infrastructure and warehousing. However, the two main Mexican producers use the same scheme of storage in a silo ship as the Mary Nour in different places of the world.

“It’s hard to understand why the Director of Canacem disqualifies a floating silo as valid storage for handling cement, considering that the two main associates of Canacem own and operate floating silos all over the world. Specifically, one of them owns the floating silo “Corregidora” which is presented as a state of art alternative to traditional land facilities.

“The arrival of the cement cargo was transparent. The almost 6 million pesos paid in taxes and the formal notice of arrival to the Port of Altamira authorities prove this statement. Besides that, the merchandise was analyzed by one of the most prestigious specialized companies. The actual results were well beyond Mexican standards. Despite the above, and apparently following illegal instructions of unknown origin, the merchandise was confiscated while still onboard the ship. By that time, the Import and tax bills had been already paid.

“It seems that some middle employees don’t understand the philosophy of their employers that favor a more competitive and fair Mexico; one that leaves behind bias criteria according to connections that only delays the development of the Country and affects its image.

“Surely, these obstacles are not planned by the Great Mexican Companies Leaders whose exemplary way of acting includes competition and freedom to business undertaking. Trying to make people believe that the said merchandise was intended for smuggling into Mexico (in broad daylight with 27.000 Mt of cement !) is an insult  to their intelligence and it poses very  serious questions about how Mexico deals with  well established rules of International Commerce.

“The CDM project is key to a freer and fairer Mexico where commercial competition favours an improvement of the quality of goods and a fair price for consumers”.

Ricardo Camacho Flores
Director General de CDM