“NoMásDerroches” Mexican Citizens Demands Action

Under the premise that the Constitution “is mandatory and not a mere declaration of good wishes,” the collective formed by civil society organizations, law firms, and other actors have undertaken strategic litigation for the judiciary review the cancellation of the NAIM and the decision to build Saint Lucia. In this text, two of its members explain their reasons.

“I prefer to bother with the truth than to please with adulations.”
Seneca

The essence of strategic litigation can be summarized in a simple and somewhat idealistic sentence: strategic litigation consists of using the existing legal tools to change society. Its ultimate goal is to transform a social reality that goes beyond the direct and immediate effects of particular litigation. It must be used to combat inequality, ensure the rights of vulnerable groups, stop the destruction of natural protected areas or generate important precedents in cases of corruption, in order to diminish impunity in society and accelerate the construction of a State of Law.

In the collective # NoMásDerroches – formed by civil society organizations, law firms that collaborate pro bono , people who use the air transport service, pilots aviators, residents of the areas surrounding Texcoco and nearby municipalities Military Air Base in Santa Lucia and, in general, citizens interested in the efficient, effective, transparent and honest use of public money- we consider that the waste of resources should not be allowed in a country that, like Mexico, aspires to consolidate the State of non corruption. Like other evils, the arbitrary and unjustified use of our taxes not only damages the Public Treasury but also harms the Mexican people, people of flesh and blood.

In this context, the collective # NoMásDerroches decided to promote a first strategic litigation that, through 147 demands for protection, seeks the judicial power of the Federation to review and control the constitutionality of a government decision that we consider questionable from the point of view legal: on the one hand, the cancellation of the New Mexico International Airport in Texcoco (NAIM) -which had an advance of more than 30% and an investment of billions of pesos- and, on the other, the substitution of the same by an International Civil Airport in the current Military Air Base of Santa Lucia.

This decision was tried to justify from the results of a survey conducted between October 25 and 28, 2018. The survey, qualified as a popular consultation by its organizers, does not have the elements required by our Constitution.one 

 and the laws to be able to be considered as such. We consider that this exercise, which does not even meet the minimum requirements of representativeness that a survey should have , is neither democratic nor represents the popular will. Therefore, in the litigation promoted by # NoMásDerroches, it is stated that the cancellation of the airport project, under the argument that the town has already decided, violates fundamental rights and constitutional principles of legality, legal security, popular consultation and democratic planning of the expenditure.

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In addition to the above, it is considered that the cancellation of a project – the largest in infrastructure in recent decades – in which such a large investment was already made, constitutes a waste of public resources to the detriment of Mexicans. As estimated by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), the minimum cancellation cost amounts to 270 billion pesos. The waste is equivalent to 6 times the annual budget allocated to the UNAM. 3 

All the people who contribute to public spending have the right to have the government exercise and administer it under the principles of efficiency, effectiveness, economy, transparency, and honesty. Some of them were incorporated into article 134 of our General Constitution in 2008 and are part of the Convention of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -subscribed by the Mexican State-, so they must be respected by all authorities.

As citizens, we are against the return of the Texcoco airport with abuses, irregularities, overpricing and corruption that often characterize projects of this magnitude. All persons who may have been affected, such as the inhabitants of San Salvador Atenco, must be restituted for the damages they have suffered and, in case it is impossible to repair them, they must receive just compensation; In addition, all officials who may have violated human rights must face justice.

Although there are still no investigations that have demonstrated and sanctioned acts of corruption in the NAIM project, we believe that any contractor that could have acted corruptly should be investigated and, if applicable, punished criminally and/or administratively. In addition, it must be obliged to compensate for the damage caused to the public treasury, and then be assigned, through public and transparent bids, new contracts to honest companies. The cancellation, without first analyzing and investigating the above, in addition to generating impunity, has created the obligation of the Mexican State to indemnify businessmen qualified by the government as corrupt, as well as the burden for airport users to finance the payment to private investors who lent money to the Airport Group of the City of Mexico (GACM) to build the NAIM. 

More waste.

Finally, it is essential to solve and sanction, with strict adherence to the law and respect for due process, any irregularities that arise from the NAIM project. However, these possible irregularities are not solved simply by canceling a project so important for national economic and tourism development.

On the other hand, the amparos are fighting various irregularities that, it is estimated, are present in the airport project in Santa Lucia. Despite the fact that public spending has already been programmed to design and build it and has even been inaugurated in a symbolic way , it is still not known if the project can even become viable from a legal, financial or technical point of view.

 and, if it is, if it would be the best option to solve the saturation problem currently presented by the Benito Juárez Airport.

Thus, the trial argues that the Santa Lucia project violates the human right to a healthy environment (in the territory surrounding the Air Base we have two Natural Protected Areas)

 and the principles that must be respected in the exercise of public expenditure

In addition, it puts at risk not only the right of access to culture but also the physical integrity, health and even the life of people.

In sum, the claim of this strategic litigation is that the acts of authority that canceled the NAIM to replace it with the Santa Lucia project are reviewed and, if necessary, annulled by the Judicial Power of the Federation, because we consider that they are not legally justified.

Our Constitution is mandatory and not a mere declaration of good wishes. This statement should be shared by all political flags and government orders. For example, in case the Reforming Power of the Constitution manages to incorporate the principle of republican austerityto the aforementioned article 134 of the Magna Carta, it must be respected by all authorities. This means that citizens will have expedited our right to go to the amparo trial in case any public servant, through their actions, violates said directive. To say otherwise would mean completely emptying our Supreme Law content and turning it into a paper with simple scribbles. The Constitution must be respected, and its fundamental principles must be protected by every authority or government regardless of the political legitimacy with which it comes to power.

It is indisputable that the Executive Power has some discretion to choose in what public money invests according to campaign commitments, a fundamental feature of our democratic life. However, this discretion is not a blank check. For a president to fulfill those proposals for which the people elected him, he must navigate through certain indispensable requirements: manage public resources, negotiate political agreements, assemble technical teams that help him to materialize his proposals and, above all, fulfill all the procedures and existing legal requirements.

For this reason, we consider that the Amparo proceedings promoted do not represent a countermajoritarian or undemocratic dilemma. It is not intended to impose any agenda, much less to order which projects should be carried out and which should not. Nor is it intended to limit decision-making in our democracy. It is not even considered that there are contrary constitutional interpretations that underlie a reasonable democratic disagreement. Rather, it is intended that the decisions taken comply with all the constitutional and legal requirements that govern the exercise of public power. Of course, we argue that the waste of public resources caused by political decisions, which cause harm to the population and are not supported by any constitutional justification, should not have space in our legal and political system.

The collective # NoMásDerrochesIt does not pretend to confront the government. Neither seeks to defend economic or partisan interests. We all want the government to be as successful as possible and punish any public official or private company that has acted irregularly in any public investment project. However, the waste of hundreds of billions of pesos by any administration should not be allowed. This cause is not from the left or from the right, nor from conservatives or liberals, nor from the so-called neoliberals. Public resources, especially in a context of scarcity like the Mexican one, must be cared for by all and by all. Therefore, it is both a right and an obligation of citizens to ensure that the exercise of resources is efficient, effective, honest and transparent.outside the law, nothing; Above the law, nobody.

Source: letraslibres

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