The Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) began construction this week of a 9-billion-peso (US $509-million) military factory in the Puebla municipality of Oriental.
Regional military commander Juan Manuel Rico Gámez explained that the Oriental project will include factory buildings, warehouses, repair shops, laboratories and sports and medical facilities. The latter two will be available for the use of local residents.
Rico said the facility will also have a positive impact on the technological and polytechnic universities already established in the area, and generate an economic impact through the local purchase of raw materials and other goods and services.
Sedena chief General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda and Puebla Governor José Antonio Gali Fayad laid the factory’s first stone at a ceremony on Tuesday.
Cienfuegos said once the facility is operational and manned by over 4,000 soldiers it will become an important source of economic opportunity, directly benefitting the population of Oriental.
The governor 5,000 jobs will be created during construction and 12,000 indirect jobs once the factory is operational although it was not specified when that would be.
“Today we reassert to the people of Puebla and Mexico that our government and the armed forces are collaborating to attain great national goals.
“I am certain that the installation of the military industry augurs success and will undoubtedly contribute to the security of the area,” said the governor.
The factory will be located in La Célula, an area set aside for development in 2007 with an investment of 450 million pesos. It has since been described in some quarters as a white elephant. Facilities were constructed on the site but never used.
The state has turned over the site’s 600 hectares to the Army for the new factory.