MEXICO CITY Oct 31 Canadian miners are seeking
a meeting with Mexico's president to air grievances about issues
ranging from the rule of law to aggressive tax collection,
according to an unusually strident letter by an industry group
published on Monday.
President Enrique Pena Nieto should intervene for Mexico to
"recover its position in relation to other investment
destinations in the hemisphere," the Canadian Chamber of
Commerce in Mexico (CanCham) wrote on behalf of the miners, in a
letter printed in Mexico's Reforma newspaper.
The letter cited unrest earlier this month at Goldcorp's
Penasquito gold mine in the state of Zacatecas, where a
week-long blockade by a trucking contractor forced operations to
shut down temporarily.
"Goldcorp did not get support from Mexican institutions to
end the illegal blockade and was forced to negotiate
individually with the truckers in the absence of the application
of the law," the letter read.
CanCham also flagged "a policy of aggressive tax collection"
at SAT, Mexico's tax authority, complaining of a spike in the
number of audits and delays in receiving value-added-tax (VAT)
refunds. They also expressed concern about new mining royalties.
Reuters reported last year that Mexico's government withheld
hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds owed to Procter &
Gamble, Unilever, and Colgate combined as it sought to coax them
and other multinationals to pay more income tax locally.
Neither the president's office nor SAT responded to requests
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Sandra Maler)