Mexico to withhold information on archeological findings in the Santa Lucía Airport
The Felipe Ángeles International Airport is currently under construction - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexico to withhold information on archeological findings in the Santa Lucía Airport

11/01/2020
11:23
Pedro Villa y Caña
Mexico City
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Since 1956, studies have shown the Santa Lucía area is rich in fossils and archeological vestiges

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The National Defense Ministry (Sedena) and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) agreed to keep in secret, under the argument that it is confidential information that undermines national security, the findings of paleontological and archeological vestiges to be discovered in the area of the construction of the Felipe Ángeles International Airport in Santa Lucía.

In an answer to the information request made via Transparency Law, the INAH informed EL UNIVERSAL that in August 2019, it signed a collaboration agreement with Sedena in which clause 16 mentions that both institutions are obliged to keep this information.

“The parties undertake to treat with all the reserves of the case, according to the articles 110 and 113 of the Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information, the documents generated between Sedena and INAH, as well as any other circumstance, in which case they will take the responsibilities to be determined by the corresponding authorities should they not comply with what is established in this clause.

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“Hence, the parties undertake to keep in secret the information provided by both in this instrument, being accountable for the unauthorized dissemination of such information and will answer for the damages they cause.”

Article 100 of the Transparency Law says that all publications that undermine national security, public security, or national defense that has a genuine objective and a demonstrable impact will be regarded as classified information. Meanwhile, article 113 says that confidential information will not be subject to any temporality and only its bearers, its representatives, and public officials with the corresponding power will have access to it.

The collaboration agreement between Sedena and INAH also includes information requests over this deal to be attended by Sedena after coordination with INAH.

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Teotihuacan remains have been found
Within the little information INAH could give about the recent findings during the construction works of the Santa Lucía Airport as part of the so-called Archeological Rescue Project in the New Santa Lucía Airport, they have found – in what will be the main runway – archeological vestiges of the Teotihuacan culture from the years 200 and 650 A.D.

The organism said that in early 2019, Sedena personnel began the corresponding procedures with INAH for the protection and rescue of the archeological and/or paleontological heritage allegedly existing within the construction polygon that could be affected by the new airport project.

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“Hence, in April [2019], there was a visit with preliminary surface tours in the areas of expansion of the head of the existing runway, as well as in a partiality of the trace of what will be the main runway of the new airport, having collected pre-Columbian diagnosed pots; some ceramic objects of Teotihuacan tradition of the Classic period, Tlamimilolpa-Xalopan phases (200-650 A.D.), as well as fragments of stone objects,” says the report. While in the information request 0000700335819, Sedena said the archeological findings obtained until now by INAH workers in the area are under analysis and study by the institute, “so once the results are ready, they will be published in the official website of the General Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AISL)”.

In June 2019, EL UNIVERSAL revealed that the perimeter of the Santa Lucía Air Base is an area rich in paleontological and archeological remains. According to studies and excavations made in that area since 1956, experts have found fossils of fauna from the Pleistocene – like mammoth fossils, saber-toothed tigers fangs, camel bones, and stones carved by humans – and whose studies showed they could be between 23,900 and 26,300 years old.

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