Mexico Sues BP
Mexico Expected to Sue BP Over Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico
Three Mexican states, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Quintana Roo, have already filed claims against BP, citing a similar list of grievances as their American counterparts: damages to fishing and tourism. Now the federal government may be joining that list, at least to reclaim the $35 million that it has spent monitoring the oil, the last remnants of which could hit Mexican shores this month.
“We expect the rest of the [Mexican] gulf states will join the endeavor and potentially … Mexico,” San Antonio lawyer Enrique Serna, whose firm represents the three states already in litigation, told Reuters.
More than 300 civil lawsuits have been filed against BP, but these are believed to be the first foreign claims. The $20 billion fund set up by BP for oil spill claimants does not cover foreign entities.
Another nearby Latin American state sees the issue in a different light, however. Despite early concerns about BP oil washing up on Cuban shores, the communist nation has its own plans regarding offshore drilling. It seems like it may move ahead with the construction of new rigs that will look for oil in water even deeper than BP’s failed Macondo well.
While any concerns about the safety of oil drilling may ring hollow coming from America, the nascent Cuban oil industry could be even less prepared to deal with a deepwater spill than the United States turned out to be — and the U.S. embargo against the island nation could stymie any U.S. efforts to aid in combating a future spill.
Mexico has its own history with catastrophic oil spills, having played host to the 1979 Ixtoc 1 oil spill. At the time, Texas sued for more than $300 million in tourism damages, but the state-run oil company claimed sovereign immunity and did not pay.