Mexico City’s Mítikah commercial complex, which includes what is now the tallest tower in the metropolis, opened on Friday after 14 years of construction. But protesters in the Xoco neighborhood where the complex is located said the area lacks the infrastructure to support such a large development.
On Friday, protesters took to the streets around the complex, which includes a shopping mall, residences and office space on the border between the Benito Juárez and Coyoacán boroughs. They blocked traffic to fight for their cause, wearing signing that said “Claudia, understand, Xoco is not for sale,” referring to Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.
Since it is officially recognized as the site of an indigenous town pre-Conquest, projects are supposed to consult the local population before building in Xoco, something that residents say was never done.
They are also protesting the large quantities of water this complex will now need, which according to activists is upwards of 5,000 liters a day. Neighbors say that they themselves don’t even have enough water, with taps in the area only running from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. each day. Mítikah’s owners have countered the accusation by saying that the city government required them to build their own well and equip it to connect to the local water system, which they did. The well is located on a 250-square-meter plot that the business group donated to the city water authority, Mítikah said.
Mayor Sheinbaum said that the owners of Mítikah, Grupo Fibra Uno, do not have permission to build another residential tower in the area as they had hoped. The proposed tower would have replaced the Centro Coyoacán, a 30-year-old, recently closed shopping mall located next door to the new Mítikah complex. Sheinbaum also said that any new construction project would have to go through a consultation process with the Xoco community.
The new Mítikah mall is now the tallest building in Mexico City at 267 meters. It has five levels of shops, including big names like H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie and Hollister. Water supply in the capital has been a major concern for decades, with water shortages and service cuts affecting most parts of the city. Large real estate developments have come under fire for their use of local resources, which some residents say exacerbates the problems.