On November 22nd, an agreement by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation declaring “of public interest and national security” the federal government works of communications, telecommunications, customs, railways, borders, hydraulics, water, in matters of environment, tourism, health, energy, ports and airports. Also those that, due to their complexity, purpose, characteristics, nature and magnitude, are considered priority or strategic for national development.
This agreement has unleashed severe criticism from various social players, who in several cases announced that they will challenge it before the courts. For its part, the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) considers that the agreement poses a “possible violation” of Article 6 of the Political Constitution of Mexico.
In contrast, the general director of the megaproject of the Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor, Rafael Marin, commented that the agreement will not only facilitate the reduction of procedures and times that impede the progress of the works, but will also guarantee the rapid intervention of the authorities to contain probable roadblocks. Marin commented that they will soon begin the bidding processes for the road that goes from Palenque, Chiapas, to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and from Ixtepec, Oaxaca, to Tapachula, Chiapas, at which time the Agreement will be effective.
For the former president of the Caribbean Business Coordinating Council (CCEC), Francisco Cordova, the Agreement “is a desperate measure” to give way to projects that, due to their magnitude, scope and cost, exceed six years of construction.
Experts, representatives of civil society organizations, former ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation have coincided in pointing out that Lopez Obrador exceeded his powers, since he cannot modify the deadlines set by current legislation. In this sense, they affirm that the agreement is unconstitutional and a violation of human rights, since it not only encourages opacity, by allowing information on the works to be declared confidential, but also legally disarms the citizens who protect themselves against the projects, by having an negative effect on judicial suspensions.
For more information in Spanish:
Acuerdo de AMLO servirá para que autoridades actúen contra bloqueos y protestas, dice titular del Interoceánico (El Universal, 29 de noviembre de 2021)
Decreto de AMLO sobre sus megaproyectos, es «un acto de desesperación»: WSJ(Proceso, 29 de noviembre de 2021)
Decreto es para apurarnos y ‘empujar al elefante’, dice AMLO sobre acuerdo de obras prioritarias (Animal Político, 29 de noviembre de 2021)
For more information from SIPAZ: