Watch Now

Protesters end blockade at Texas port of entry

Farmers began protest blockade Wednesday at Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, disrupting key trade route.

A blockade by Mexican farmers at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge is causing commercial trucks to be diverted to other ports. (Photo: City of Pharr)

Business has restarted at one of the busiest ports in South Texas after Mexican farmers ended a two-day blockade at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

Commercial crossings at the bridge in Pharr, Texas, resumed around 8 p.m. Thursday when farmers on the Mexican side of the bridge moved tractors and trucks that had been blocking the international crossing.

“The Pharr Bridge at Port of Hidalgo is open for commercial processing – north- and south-bound,” said Armando Taboada, assistant director of field operations at the Laredo Field Office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “The protest ended last night after 7 p.m. and trucks and shipments were processed through Pharr Bridge (Port of Hidalgo).”

Commercial traffic at the bridge has been halted since Wednesday afternoon due to the blockade.

Mexican farmers are protesting economic conditions — reportedly government cuts in sorghum subsidies — that affect the agricultural industry.

According to news outlets in Mexico, farmers want to be paid 3,735 pesos per ton for sorghum, while the Mexican government wants to pay $2,900 or $3,100 pesos per ton.

Aaron Acosta, corporate relations manager for Pharr-based Villita Avocados, said the company had to reroute trucks Wednesday and Thursday because of the protests.

Villita Avocados, which imports Hass avocados from the state of Michoacán in central Mexico, averages around 30 to 50 trucks a week at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

“We’ve been diverting trucks to the international bridge in Los Indios and the bridge in Brownsville,” Acosta said.

Pharr is about 35 miles from the bridge in Los Indios, Texas, and 58 miles from Brownsville, Texas.

Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]