Mexico sees widespread noncompliance with business closures
by The Associated Press
Border state Baja California as has a high level of non-compliance for closures of non-essential businesses
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s coronavirus point-man said there has been widespread non-compliance with orders for all non-essential businesses to close.
Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said those firms that don’t comply would be inspected, fined and possibly subject to criminal investigations for endangering the health of employees.
While there have been widespread reports that border assembly plants known as maquiladoras had failed to close during the pandemic, Lopez-Gatell cited only one border state – Baja California – as having a high level of non-compliance.
Videos of walk-outs and protests at assembly plants have circulated on social media in recent weeks.
But Lopez-Gatell said the problem was centred more in Mexico’s industrial central region.
In all, 18% of firms in Mexico are considered essential and are allowed to stay open. Lopez Gatell said 50% of those that were supposed to close did so, but about 32% of the remaining companies initially failed to close.
Of that one-third, about half closed after being warned, while the other half continue to operate.
Auto and auto-parts plants were about one-quarter of the plants that failed to close; stores and distributors represented about 21% and textile businesses represented about 18%.
Mexico has 5,847 confirmed coronavirus cases and almost 450 deaths.