Journalists find serious irregularities in the construction of the Texcoco Airport

The corruption and irregularities that characterized the Peña Nieto administration should not be repeated

Journalists find serious irregularities in the construction of the Texcoco Airport
López Obrador held a referendum and then canceled the Texcoco airport - Photo: Tomás Bravo/REUTERS
English 25/02/2020 09:39 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:43

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According to the current government, it canceled the construction of the New International Airport of Mexico (NAIM) in Texcoco because the project was tainted by personal and group interests that aimed to make obscure deals; moreover, the canceled project was used as an example of the fight against corruption.

However, the federal government did not prove evidence. Although no one would have been surprised if authorities had found evidence of corruption in the contracts signed by the Peña Nieto administration, authorities never showed evidence that proved there were irregularities in the construction of the Texcoco airport.

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Through investigative journalism, EL UNIVERSAL found evidence that corroborates the allegations. Today, this newspaper reveals information in regards to the 45 shell companies that received MXN $1,778 million to supply materials that would be used in the construction of the perimeter fence and rainwater systems at the new airport. The National Defense Ministry was the institution that allocated the contracts to these fraudulent companies.

The newspaper’s investigative journalism team analyzed 284 contracts and found that at least 117 of them were assigned to irregular companies owned by “straw men,” as the alleged company owners are security guards, construction workers, hairstylists, police officers, and people who receive government aid.

For example, the founding partners of construction company Osercy are three low-income people. In an interview, one of them hints that there were irregularities in the handling of personal data and explains that in order to receive government aid from the Sagarpa, they had to sign a document and provide a copy of their ID.

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Moreover, this is the second time the newspaper was uncovered irregularities at the NAIM. In January 2020, EL UNIVERSAL revealed a report issued by the Federal Police, which pointed at the opacity and irregularities in the contracts assigned to the Sedena.

All this information should be reviewed by the current government in order to investigate the possible corruption case, especially since the previous administration paid millions in public funds to shell companies.

Furthermore, the NAIM should be taken as an example in the construction of the Santa Lucía airport, so that opacity, irregularities, and squandering are banned. The corruption and irregularities that characterized the Peña Nieto administration should not be repeated by the López Obrador administration.

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