A Year After Expropriations, Mexico City's Superhighway Suspended
The Federal Bureau of Environmental Protection Orders The Project To Be Postponed
By Fernando León
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
April 6, 2011
Visibly excited, neighbors in the La Malinche colonia in Mexico City received news that the Federal Bureau of Environmental Protection (PROFEPA in Spanish initials) had ordered the Western Superhighway project to be suspended due to the lack of building permits in the federally protected area.
Exactly one year ago, Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard’s government notified 51 households in La Malinche (in the Magdalena Contreras borough) that their property would be expropriated to make way for a controversial highway construction project to link the south of the city to the affluent area of Santa Fe in the west. Since then, neighbors affected by the construction who have been expecting their own expropriation notifications from the city have organized to defend their properties. Not only did they build the colonia up from the ground, but the neighborhood is also a rich environmental area that maintains water sources for the entire city.
Upon hearing of the decision from the PROFEPA, La Malinche resident José López Pérez called Narco News to share the great news. “I’m calling to let you know that the superhighway is suspended!” López Pérez said to this reporter at 3 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The suspension applies to land composed of 36 hectors, and the Mexico City government has not obtained the required building permits from the federal bureau.
The Broad Front against the Western Superhighway, a group created by neighbors one year ago, commented in a press statement that “The suspension opens up the possibility for a real public consultation.” According to the neighbors, no such consultation has been made by the Mexico City government for any instance relating to environmental protections. However, neighbors like López Pérez are confidant that the construction project will be canceled permanently. “It’s time to redouble our efforts, we can’t rest until the superhighway is finished,” he said.
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