Mexico court blocks airport project is a major blow to AMLO administration

Judge gives two final suspensions against Santa Lucia airport

A judge in Mexico has ordered President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government to halt construction on a new airport and preserve work on a rival project he tried to scrap, activists said Monday.

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NAIM texcoco

The ruling is a blow to the leftist leader known as “AMLO,” who campaigned against his predecessor’s “pharaonic” $13-billion airport for Mexico City.

He wants to replace it with a highly controversial — alternative, converting an existing airbase into a second airport for the capital.

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Santa Lucia

The decision by the court in the central state of Mexico freezes construction at the Santa Lucia airbase until the government shows it has “all necessary permits,” said a collective of activists and business groups that filed 147 separate complaints to block the project on environmental, safety and other grounds.

The ruling also orders the government not to tear down the work already done on the rival project in the suburb of Texcoco, which was one-third complete.

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Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, scrapped the Texcoco project after holding a referendum on the issue that was plagued by irregularities.

The decision sparked outrage among investors, including the project’s chief backer, the telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim.

Slim, the world’s fifth-richest person according to Forbes magazine, warned that canceling the project would amount to “canceling the economic growth of the country.”

Mexico City’s current airport is aging poorly and badly saturated: last year it handled nearly 48 million passengers, despite an official capacity of 32 million.

Lopez Obrador said Friday the lawsuits against the Santa Lucia project were part of a media campaign against him by people who were “upset” over losing “their little business deal.”

The organizations that make up the collective # NoMásDerroches promoted 147 applications for protection, of which, up to this moment, with the new resolutions, they would add seven suspensions granted.

In the resolutions, the members ordered to stop the construction of the new airport in the Military Air Base, until the environmental impact studies do not exist; that you have the authorization of the National Institute of Anthropology and History ; that security studies be delivered. They also demanded that the progress in the works of the Texcoco airport that began the former administration be preserved.

The amparo proceedings were filed in eight states: Mexico City, State of Mexico, Jalisco, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Morelos, Quintana Roo and San Luis Potosí

The objective of the social and business organizations is that the Santa Lucia project must be canceled and the work of Texcoco resumed because the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not shown that technical, economic, legal, aeronautical, environmental feasibility studies, among others, are fulfilled.

In addition, the decision to cancel the airport in Texcoco is illegal, not justified and that involves a waste of public resources.

Source: ap. milenio

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