TIJUANA, MEXICO -- The northern Mexico border state of Baja California closed a plant run by the Anglo-American health care firm Smiths Medical Friday for allegedly refusing to sell ventilators to Mexican hospitals.
Baja California Gov. Jaime Bonilla said the firm refused to sell Mexico some of the machines, which are badly needed to treat patients with coronavirus.
Bonilla said the firm had continued to operate its assembly plant under the argument it provided an "essential" service, when most non-essential plants have been ordered closed to combat the pandemic.
But Bonilla ordered the Smiths Medical factory closed, because he argued it was providing no such essential service to Mexicans, and thus was not obeying health emergency contingency measures.
"They said `no, we are not going to sell you anything, we are just going to continue to use your labour'.".
Bonilla accused the company of contacting Mexico's foreign relations secretary and the U.S.
Mexico now has 3,844 case of the new coronavirus, with 233 deaths nationwide. »