On November 22nd, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) announced the signing of a decree by which he declared the construction of projects and works by the government as matters of public interest and national security. This document includes works in the sectors of communications, telecommunications, customs, border, hydraulic, water, environment, tourism, health, , railways in all their modalities, energy, ports, airports and those that are considered strategic for national development.
This agreement published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), indicates that the dependencies of the Federal Public Administration, have the obligation of, in a term not exceeding five days, “to give the provisional authorization to the presentation and obtaining of the opinions, permits or licenses to be able to start the works”, this in order to guarantee its execution. This authorization will be valid for 12 months from the presentation of the application.
The announcement of this agreement that came into force this Monday after its publication in the DOF has generated great controversy. While AMLO defended that it is a measure that aims to “promote and consolidate projects that will lead us as a Nation to achieve economic growth and social welfare”, organizations such as the National Institute of Transparency Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI ), is already preparing a constitutional case before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) against the Agreement because it warned that “there is a risk that the subjects obliged to generate information on these projects may intend to reserve the information based on the Agreement, which would violate the right of access to information.”
For their part, academics and former government officials, considered that the Agreement has no legal basis, is unconstitutional and creates contexts contrary to the validity of fundamental rights such as the right to a healthy environment, health, public information and accountability.
Given the reactions received against the Agreement, President Lopez Obrador assured in the morning conference the next day that “it is an agreement to streamline procedures and that the works do not stop due to bureaucratic procedures.”
For more information in Spanish:
Acuerdo de AMLO sobre obras: sin fundamento legal y contra la transparencia(Expansión, 24 de noviembre de 2021)
Llueven críticas a AMLO por designar megaobras como asunto de seguridad nacional (CNN, 23 de noviembre de 2021)
Acuerdo de seguridad nacional de obras y proyectos, es para ‘agilizar trámites’: AMLO (Press Libre, 23 de noviembre de 2021)
AMLO firma acuerdo para que obras del gobierno se consideren asunto de seguridad nacional (Milenio, 22 de noviembre de 2021)
For more information from SIPAZ:
National: 2022 Budget To Double Resources for 4T Megaprojects and Social Programs(September 19, 2021)
Chiapas: Presentation on Megaprojects and Human Rights in Mexico (August 25, 2021)
National: FONATUR Hid Critical Information about Maya Train (June 30, 2021)