President López Obrador admitted Tuesday that the Maya Train railroad project is behind schedule and blamed the former head of the National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur) for the delays.
Speaking at his regular news conference, López Obrador asserted that Rogelio Jiménez Pons, who as Fonatur director had responsibility for the US $8 billion railway, had not sufficiently applied himself to the project.
The president removed Jiménez from the position earlier this month and replaced him with Javier May, the former welfare minister.
“We need to finish these [government infrastructure] projects and we need responsible people who are completely committed, who don’t stop for anything and who fully apply themselves,” López Obrador said.
“In order to carry out a project, a manager and permanent, constant supervision is needed,” he said.
“… We have a commitment to the transformation of the country. … We can be really fond of a person, but if that person, this person [Jiménez], doesn’t apply himself, isn’t enthusiastic, doesn’t have sufficient convictions, doesn’t internalize that we’re living in a historic time, a stellar moment in the public life of Mexico, an interesting time, and he’s thinking that it’s the same routine life of government, that everything is orthodox, … that the passage of time doesn’t matter, then he’s not understanding that a transformation is a profound change,” the president said.
He went on to praise army General Gustavo Vallejo and Energy Minister Rocío Nahle for their commitment to the new Mexico City airport, currently under construction north of the capital, and the Dos Bocas refinery, which is being built on the Tabasco coast.
Vallejo is at the Felipe Ángeles Airport “day and night” while Nahle “isn’t wasting time” at the refinery, López Obrador said. The airport will be finished on time in March, and the refinery will be completed as scheduled in July, he declared.
With May now overseeing the Maya Train railroad – which will run through Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Chiapas – the project will be inaugurated in December 2023 even if obstacles emerge, AMLO pledged.
“… We’re grateful for what Rogelio did,” he said, despite his earlier rebuke. “He left the route open, cleared the path, but what we need now is more action.”
With reports from Reforma