Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Tribunal removes last suspension stopping Santa Lucía airport

A federal court has revoked the seventh and final suspension order against the Santa Lucía airport, removing the last legal impediment to the commencement of construction of the US $4.8-billion project.

The 10th Collegiate Tribunal in Mexico City annulled the injunction during a hearing on Wednesday.

The suspension order and six others that were recently repealed were all obtained by the #NoMásDerroches (No More Waste) collective, a group made up of civil society organizations, law firms and citizens.

While today’s ruling gives the Secretariat of Defense the green light to start work at the Santa Lucía Air Force Base in México state, a lawyer for #NoMásDerroches argued that beginning construction would be illegal because the government still hasn’t presented all the studies required.

“If they move machinery tomorrow as a show of power and they cut the ribbon . . . that would be illegal because the airworthiness studies are missing and the master plan . . . hasn’t been presented,” Gerardo Carrasco said.

He also said the government has failed to present information about the environmental impact of the airport project.

The newspaper Milenio noted that the Supreme Court could invoke its constitutional power to rule on the legality of the injunctions granted against the airport but said that eventuality was “improbable.”

Two judges and a court secretary sitting in for suspended magistrate Jorge Arturo Camero Ocampo unanimously made today’s decision to overturn the final suspension order.

The #NoMásDerroches collective claimed last week that the suspension of the judge while he is investigated for questionable financial dealings was proof of pressure being exercised by the federal government for the airport issue to be “resolved according to its interests.”

Camero was part of a panel of judges that granted an injunction against the Santa Lucia airport in June and also voted on more than one occasion against lifting suspension orders that had been granted to #NoMásDerroches, which said in June that reviving the previous government’s abandoned airport project was “legally possible.”

The partially-built project was canceled by President López Obrador after a controversial and legally-questionable public consultation last October that found almost 70% support to convert the Santa Lucía Air Force base into a commercial airport.

The president says that the airport will be completed in three years once construction begins.

Both López Obrador and Communications and Transportation Secretary Javier Jiménez Espriú said last week that the project would start as soon as the final injunction was lifted.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Financiero (sp) 

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