MEXICALI, Baja California, Mexico (Border Report) — Lawyers are warning Mexicali city officials that they can’t sell beer confiscated during recent police searches.
Officers have been finding the beer while inspecting vehicles entering Mexico through Mexicali, just south of Calexico, Calif.
Beer has become hard to find in Mexico after it was declared non-essential when the coronavirus pandemic first began. Stores quickly ran out. Last month, a few breweries restarted operations, but beer supply south of the border remains low.
Mexicali’s Mayor Marina Avila has tinkered with the idea of selling the seized suds. But lawyers are saying this is a gray area and may be illegal.
“The city would be committing diverse irregularities opening a Pandora’s box,” said Francisco Ballesteros, a Mexican constitutional lawyer.
Ballesteros added the sale of the beer by the municipality would actually be illegal.
“You almost have to re-write the Constitution to allow it,” he said.
He went on to say pubic input is needed and the government would be required to reach out to others in the same industry to create a level economic playing field.
Travelers heading south through Mexicali are in for screenings, long border waits.
Avila has said the proceeds would help build a shelter for abused and abandoned animals. But a final decision on whether to proceed with the beer sale has not been made by Avila.
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