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  • The people of Atenco demand an end to the already cancelled new airport.

    The people of Atenco demand an end to the already cancelled new airport. | Photo: @AtencoFPDT

Published 14 November 2018

Despite Lopez Obrador promised he will stop the construction when he takes office, president Peña Nieto continues with the project.

Despite 70 percent of voters chose to cancel the construction of the New International Airport of Mexico City (NAICM), which would compromise the remains of the Texcoco Lake, the project is still ongoing and local population are denouncing the pollution of their rivers and territory continues.

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The Peoples’ Front in Defense of Land of Atenco (FPDT) has denounced that the construction of the NAICM continues “in and out the established perimetry of what they aspired to be a first world airport,” and death threats against Nieves Rodriguez Hernandez, who refused to evict her house so the airport’s highway could be finished.

The airport’s project has not only affected the construction site itself, but also surrounding areas where the construction firm is obtaining material. The mines’ activities have polluted drinking water and rivers, according to the FPDT, and property speculation continues in the hands of corrupt public servants “to build a megalopolis under the control of the same as always.”

The FPDT also denounced that  PINFRA and CIPSA companies, in charge of constructing the Peñon-Texcoco highway, divided the community-owned territory and increased its operations despite appeals filed against them, showing “evidence of corruption and falsification of signatures” of local authorities, as well as shock groups paid by the companies to seize their territories.

The companies, they claim, set up an illegal and illegitimate assembly to validate the construction of the highway, a meeting in which external people took part but a shock group prevented locals from entering.

Just after the consultation over the airport was carried out by president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s transitional government and his party the National Renewal Movement (Morena), now the biggest political force in both legislative houses, incumbent president Enrique Peña Nieto announced that the construction would continue until the last day of his government, Nov. 30.

That means that operations will continue in Texcoco until Lopez Obrador takes office in December and orders its interruption if he keeps his word to obey the consultation result. As an alternative to the Texcoco project.

Voters chose to expand the Santa Lucia military airbase as an alternative to the NAICM, as Lopez Obrador’s team presented it as a less expensive option.

The FPDT has protested the new airport since it was first announced during the administration of Vicente Fox (2000-2006) and has been leading the resistance citing social and environmental issues.

Marching Against Consultations

Not everyone was happy with the results. A sector of Mexican society has expressed their feelings in favor of the Texcoco airport, calling the consultation a ‘simulation’ and Lopez Obrador a ‘dictator’ that are threatening democracy, even though the center-left president-elect is not the president yet.

Thousands of Mexicans marched in Mexico City to demand Lopez Obrador to continue with the Texcoco project, wearing black clothes to show their “mourning” for the canceled project. The march was dubbed by social media users and media outlets as the “marcha fifi” (the upper-class march), in reference to its right-wing inclination and a sector of society that is not used to protest.

Popular signs at the protest read “No to fixed consultations” and the “No More Undesirable Migrants,” signed by the Mexican Nationalist Movement that has severely criticized the caravans of Central American migrants that are crossing the country in their way to the United States.

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