By RICARDO CASTILLO
Dos Bocas Bubble Bursts
The news was sensational.
Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Zhi Qingqiao told reporters during the celebration of a China Day event organized by Mexico’s Economy Secretariat on Monday, Jan.13, that Chinese banks were investing $600 million in the Dos Bocas Refinery, currently under construction in the southeastern state of Tabasco.
Immediately after the statement was made, Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle denied that the Dos Bocas project had any outside financing, public or private.
“I don’t know under what context the ambassador made that statement, but the Dos Bocas project is funded only by federal government financing,” she said.
And Nahle said she did not have any knowledge of loans from either the Bank of China or ICBC.
Nahle said the government is outsourcing work with many private companies and it was perhaps one of those who requested the money as a loan,.
“I just don’t know,” she said.
Zhu Qingqiao was perhaps misunderstood by reporters in that the abovementioned banks had “shown interest” in investing through outsourcing concerns, Nahle said, adding, again, “ I just don’t know.”
Result? A loud and clear communications failure!
Dig and Thou Shalt Find
While digging around a 23-square-kilometer area near Mexico City’s Felipe Angeles Airport is being built, near the Teotihuacán pyramids, archaeologists found cultural ruins dating back as far as 400 B.C., along with the remains — in good shape — of eight mammoths and mastodons.
Archaeologist Salvador Pulido, the head of the National Institute for Archaeology and History’s (INAH) salvaging department, said the archeologists also found evidence of human settlements during the Aztec period, between 1300 and 1500 A.D.
“During three months of digging,” Pulido said, “up until now, we have not found ruins of such magnitude that may force the airport construction either to stop or be redesigned. The airport construction will be completed exactly where it was supposed to be.”
He said that the vestiges found “are being registered as simple finds.”
Pulido said he did not foresee any archaeological reason to impede construction.
Presidential Plane to Return Home
One year after the presidential jetliner used by former Mexican Presidente Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto was placed on the International market, the plane will return to Mexico for maintenance and the exploration of other ways of selling it.
The plane, valued at $130 million, will be returned to Mexico and possibly kept at the Santa Lucía Air Force Base, where it will either be sold, or leased by the Mexican Defense Secretariat to pay for upkeep.
Banobras director Jorge Mendoza also announced that the entire 21-craft fleet of presidential airplanes and choppers will also be put on the block.
The biggest problem with the luxurious presidential 757-225 plane is that it was conditioned to fly the president of Mexico and an entourage of 80 people, and is not fit for commercial use.
Also, it is no longer new and has been sitting on the tarmac for over a year, which is very harmful to jet motors.
During his announcement of the sale plan, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) did not miss the chance to crack a joke at the expense of former government officials – and presidents – who, he quipped, “felt they were kings, like a creole monarchy, and lived surrounded by luxury and privileges.”
AMLO flies on commercial airlines and maintains “you just can’t have a rich government in a poor nation.”
Del Toro Mourns Hermosillo
Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro tweeted that he felt sorry about the passing away of fellow film director Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, whom Del Toro considered his teacher.
“My master is dead. He was one of the greats and the person who transformed the filmmaking culture in Guadalajara,” Del Toro wrote.
Del Toro worked on two films with Hermosillo as assistant director.
Del Toro is known for his flick “The Shape of Water,” as well as his rendition of “Hellboy.”
A native of Aguascalientes, Hermosillo is best known for his work with Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez on “Mary My Dearest” and “The Summer of Miss Forbes.,” and his 1991 film “Homework.”
Hermosillo’s films are being broadcast all this week in Mexico at 10:30 p.m. on CHe worked with Gabriel García Márquez on Mary My Dearest (1979) and The Summer of Miss Forbes (1988). His film Homework (1991) was entered into the 17th Moscow International Film Festival where it won a Special Mention.hannel 22.
Barr to Visit
U.S. Attorney General William Barr will be in Mexico City on Thursday, Jan. 16, for separate meetings with Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and Fiscal General Alejandro Gertz Manero.
Barr’s slated visit has aroused curiosity across México because every time he drops by in Mexico City “curious things” happen.
The last times Barr was here, ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales had to leave México “in a hurry” to Cuba,.
And on a separate occasion, the Trump administration arrested Mexico’s former top cop, Genaro García Luna, soon to go on trial in Brooklyn.
People are now wondering who will be the next to fall from grace once Barr arrives in the city?