President López Obrador announced an urban development plan for Acapulco, Guerrero, yesterday with the allocation of 8 billion pesos (US $419 million) for restoration work on housing and public spaces in marginalized neighborhoods.
López Obrador said programs designed to stimulate the economy and propel growth starting with the lowest rungs of society, both in cities and rural areas, will move Mexicans out of poverty. He hoped the program would avoid creating two Acapulcos separated by a gulf of economic and social inequality.
Territorial and Urban Development Secretary Román Meyer Falcón said the government will provide financial aid to provide water and waste services, improve roads, install street lights and improve public spaces dedicated to sports, recreation and culture in 26 neighborhoods in Acapulco.
He said that for many years Acapulco and many other cities have prioritized more lucrative forms of urban development with special emphasis on attracting tourist dollars, but that families with less means are often left far behind.
“The state has an obligation to make cities more humane and egalitarian with quality services and public spaces.”
The president presented his plan for Acapulco in the context of a larger initiative to combat poverty in which the federal government will directly distribute 300 billion pesos (US $15.7 billion) to programs that benefit seniors and students, as well as provide no-interest loans to small businesses and artisans.
López Obrador claimed that the money for the programs became available following extensive corruption investigations and dismissals. He admitted that some agencies may operate more slowly than usual, like a “rheumatic elephant,” due to the purges.
He promised to return to Acapulco in three months to check on the programs’ progress.