AMLO Decrees Megaprojects ‘Matters of National Security’

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: Google


In what has been deemed by critics as a serious blow to Mexican democracy and political transparency, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) issued a presidential decree late Monday, Nov, 22, declaring all his administration’s mega infrastructure projects as “matters of public interest and national security.”

The decree, which was immediately met with opposition from constitutionalists and Mexico’s National Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Data Institute (INAI), protects AMLO’s so-called Fourth Transfromation (4T) pet projects — specifically, the Tren Maya tourist train, the Felipe Ángeles International Airport and the Dos Bocas oil refinery in his home state of Tabasco — from all legal challenges and financial accountability.

The new decree, which critics have warned opens the nation to a far more authoriarian government and counteracts 30 years of efforts to make Mexico’s political workings more transparent, shields the construction of a broad range of strategic infrastructure projects, including transportation, telecommunications, customs, water, tourism, health, the environment and energy.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, speaking during his daily press conference, AMLO said that he was tired of the multitude of legal challenges that have been raised against his pet megaprojects, adding that the new decree will make those legal objections moot since the projects can no longer be halted by judicial injunctions and other legal instruments.

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