GRUMA factory in US with “significant” COVID-19 outbreak ordered closed for one day by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

On July 27, 2020 the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced it had ordered a GRUMA factory in Commerce, California operating as Mission Foods to close temporarily after 40 workers tested positive for COVID-19. The head of maintenance at the plant died July 20 and one other worker died July 3 according to KABC (reported July 30, 2020). An LA County Health Officer said on July 30 the two workers were believed to have had COVID-19 at the time of their deaths according to the LA Times. As of July 30 the number of positive cases was 49 according to the Department of Public Health.

From the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on July 27 that three employers including the Mission Foods factory “have significant outbreaks amongst their employees, [and] we were not notified, as we’re required to be notified, once they had their three cases,” according to KTLA. The company was required to notify Los Angeles County after its first three cases. KABC reported on July 30 that the facility had reopened one day after being closed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Mission Foods is a subsidiary of GRUMA and describes itself as the “#1 tortilla company in the US.”

On April 29, 2020, Juan Antonio Gonzalez Moreno was reappointed president of the Board of Directors and was also CEO at GRUMA. He was a 2020 member of the Board of Directors of Grupo Financiero Banorte, and he was a member of the Mexican Council of Business according to GRUMA’s most recent annual report (for the year ended 2019). His brother Roberto Gonzalez Moreno transferred ownership of a house near Vail, Colorado in August 2018 to a Delaware company that had the same Mexico City address Roberto and his wife used when they bought the property in 1991. The Colorado house was valued at $3.2 million for 2020 property tax purposes and was examined by ChedrauiLeaks in 2017.

GRUMA and Banorte have long been linked by their boards of directors. José Antonio Chedraui Eguía has been an independent member of the Banorte Board of Directors since April 2015.

Carlos Hank Gonzalez is the nephew of Juan Antonio Gonzalez Moreno. Carlos Hank Gonzalez was reappointed Vice President of the Board of Directors of GRUMA in April, 2020. Carlos’s mother, Graciela Gonzalez Moreno, was named his alternate on the board of GRUMA. Carlos Hank Gonzalez is chairman of the board of  Grupo Financiero Banorte.

Thomas Stanley Heather Rodriguez is an independent boardmember of both Banorte and GRUMA.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez Moreno and Roberto Gonzalez Moreno are sons of GRUMA founder Roberto Gonzalez Barrera. Roberto Gonzalez Barrera also built up Grupo Financiero Banorte from 1992 to 2012, at which point he was its controlling shareholder.

ChedrauiLeaks has noticed that the media in Mexico contains very little information about the business dealings and personal assets in the United States of what could be termed Mexican elites, wealthy businesspeople and politicians. ChedrauiLeaks is not stating that members of the Chedraui family or its businesses had any involvement with the events described in this article.