20 | MAR | 2019
Colossal fraud at the Infonavit
The Mexican Constitution establishes the right to housing – Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Colossal fraud at the Infonavit

19/02/2019
09:31
Mexico City
Editorial
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For example, Isabel Noyola was granted credit for MXN $273,000 in 2006, after 12 years of making payments, she currently owes MXN $291,000

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According to the Constitution, housing is a right for every worker but, along with many other things in the Constitution, this right isn't fulfilled. The 123rd article states that “Workers will be provided with cheap housing in lease or sale […] Also, a financial system will be established to grant cheap and sufficient credits for the workers so that they acquire comfortable and hygienic housing.” Nevertheless, there are millions of Mexican families who allocate almost half of their income to pay rent.

In order to enforce the right to housing, the Institute of National Housing Fund for Workers (Infonavit) was created in 1972, an organization that included the government, employers, and workers in order to grant credits for the acquisition of property. For many years, the Infonavit directly participated in the construction of homes but then left this task on the hands of private companies.

The financial situation was financially sound, the granting of credits and homes broke records each year; 690,000 in 2015. Millions of workers had access to a home until something went wrong along the road.

Firstly, the construction boom drove developers to acquire large tracts of land for a low price, in areas located far from working and education centers. Many of those who bought those homes regretted it because it meant spending up to five hours commuting every day.

Violence in large regions pushed many families to abandon their homes and migrate to safer areas.

More recently, as EL UNIVERSAL revealed in 2018, a colossal fraud took place, which affected thousands of Infonavit beneficiaries in at least 8 states. Notaries, magistrates, and judges colluded to rob workers of 40,000 homes, who allegedly had gotten behind with their payments.

Another serious situation is the fact that millions of people notice how their credits increase, despite making their payments. Today, EL UNIVERSAL presents these stories. For example, Isabel Noyola was granted credit for MXN $273,000 in 2006, after 12 years of making payments, she currently owes MXN $291,000.

What proportion of the excellent financial state of the Infonavit is based on usury? The disdain towards the economic situation of workers seemed to be the rule, Recently, the Mexican government announced it would launch measures in favor of those who were experiencing this situation. It arrived late but it is a policy that will help workers. It is expected that this is the beginning of a larger program to make the right to housing a reality.

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