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Unclear accounts in Mexico City

When new mayors take office, most of the offices are empty, as well as the bank accounts
Unclear accounts in Mexico City
Miguel Ángel Mancera, the former Mexico City mayor – Photo: Lucia Godinez/EL UNIVERSAL
Mexico City
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It seems like it is becoming a tradition that every time there is a change of delegates, now mayors, in Mexico City, a chaos, to say the least, in the management of public resources is discovered.

The 16 new mayors of the capital took office 20 days ago and after learning about the finances they inherited, they realized that the money won't be enough for the next two and a half months, that the resources are compromised in contracts approved by the previous administration, that the bank accounts amount to MXN $0.00, and that many offices were looted.

However, Mexico City's Finance Ministry has other information. Up to September 30, it claims that the 16 municipalities will have MXN $17,923 million for the next three months, but the reality is different.

In Iztapalapa, for example, the mayor points out that they do have MXN $1,894 million for the last couple of months, although only MXN $13,900,000 are free to use, as the rest is compromised in other areas such as materials and supplies, general services, social programs, and public works. Its room for maneuver is minimum, as over 99% of the budget is assigned. The rest of the municipalities are in a similar situation, according to information published by EL UNIVERSAL today.

Three years ago, during the administration change, the then Tlalpan mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum filed a lawsuit before Mexico City Attorney General's Office “against those responsible” for the missing equipment and furniture in government offices. The head of the Azcapotzalco municipality also filed a lawsuit, after he found luxury toilets and locker rooms in a sports club, exclusively for the former mayor and his officials. In the Xochimilco municipality, they realized that offices lacked working computers.

It shouldn't be considered as a persecution or witch-hunt, this time, as three years ago, the incoming mayors should file lawsuits for the authorities to hold those in charge of the previous finances accountable and so the alleged wrongful use of public resources doesn't go unpunished. Even the smallest suspicion should be investigated.

And for the new mayors, the minimum demand is of total transparency and adequate management of resources so that history doesn't repeat itself in 2021.


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