Funds raised from an auction of confiscated jewelry will be used to upgrade the highway between La Yesca and Tepic in Nayarit, President López Obrador said on Sunday.
López Obrador told members of the indigenous Wixárika community at an event in La Yesca that the federal Attorney General’s Office will hand over 260 million pesos (US $13.5 million) worth of jewelry that will be auctioned off at Los Pinos, the former presidential residence.
The president said he was confident that the jewelry will sell for more than its estimated value, even though previous auctions have not been as successful as the government hoped.
“. . . People want to help. I’m sure that the 260 million pesos will increase and it will be the first allocation for the road to La Yesca. I’m making this commitment to you and also telling you that we will continue providing support,” López Obrador said.
He described the highway and other roads leading to the municipality in the interior of the small Pacific coast state as virtually impassable due to landslides and mud.
Work on the highway will begin before the end of the year, López Obrador predicted.
He pledged that the government will continue to implement social programs and provide welfare payments to indigenous communities in Nayarit, and promised that a state-run company will soon provide them with reliable internet coverage.
The president also said that federal funds will be provided before the end of the year in order to carry out maintenance projects at Nayarit schools and that the government’s tree-planting employment program will launch in the state in January 2020.
Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) will employ 2,500 people in La Yesca and the same number in the neighboring municipality of El Nayar, López Obrador said, adding that the aim is to plant trees on 12,500 hectares.
The president said the government is also prepared to intervene in order to solve land disputes between indigenous communities and cattle ranchers in eastern Nayarit.