By KELIN DILLON
The elimination of Mexico’s Trust Fund for Natural Disasters (Fonden) by the country’s federal government has resulted in hundreds of public projects halting due to a lack of resources, despite their need for “priority and immediate attention.”
The trust was eliminated by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) in November 2020, leaving a large number of the nation’s infrastructure vulnerable.
The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) has since requested more than 1.1 billion pesos from Mexico’s treasury to help fund 223 public works pertaining to repairs to roads affected by rains, floods and earthquakes. While the Fonden initially approved these requested funds, they were never given out once the trust was eliminated by López Obrador.
Now, all repairs for disasters will be funded by the Treasury of the Federation (Tesofe), which absorbed Fonden’s assets following its elimination, out of its annual Expenditure Budget.
A total of 91 of these 200-odd public works have not had any construction companies hired, and the construction companies behind the 132 works that have begun have yet to receive a single peso of federal funding. With the federal government failing to meet its 50 percent of the financing, state governments have been forced to bear the brunt of the budget immediately and pay their half up front, though they then don’t have the financial means to finish the projects off.
These abandoned works include landslide extraction, the filling of landslides, asphalt replacement, retaining walls, and the reconstruction of bridges, now left without a solution or an end in site thanks to the Fonden’s eradication.