Mexico Takes Aim at Private Companies, Threatening Decades of Economic Growth
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MONTERREY, Mexico—For the past 20 years, a 1,100-megawatt power plant owned by Spain’s Iberdrola SA outside Mexico’s industrial capital has kept the lights on for scores of companies such as brewing giant Heineken NV, despite winter freezes, a hurricane and the occasional brush fire.

But since January, half the gas-fired plant has been forcibly shut down by Mexico’s government, which argues that private energy companies have plundered Mexico like Spanish conquistadors of old. The electricity shutdown forced dozens of firms in Monterrey to return to the inefficient and more costly state-run utility for their power.

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