By KELIN DILLON
On Saturday, Sept. 17, elements of Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) seized yet another building in Mexico City’s Santa Fe business district as part of its efforts to expand the FGR’s nearby National Park of Justice headquarters, securing the property with seals from the Specialized Unit for Terrorism Investigation, Stockpiling and Arms Trafficking.
The FGR announced its intentions to appropriate numerous buildings on Santa Fe land – without any plans to compensate their current owners – on Monday, Sept. 12, utilizing a 1907 nationalization decree from the Porfiriato era that was signed 10 years prior to the creation of Mexico’s constitution in 1917. The century-old decree portioned more than 2,800 square meters in Santa Fe to be reserved completely for public use, which the FGR is now using as a basis for its seizures in the area.
This decree allows the FGR to sue for said properties, which are conveniently located adjacent to the National Park of Justice construction site, under the guise of federal use, completely circumventing the occupants’ rights later established in the Mexican Constitution.
Under this provision, the FGR has been able to seize Santa Fe buildings currently facing lawsuits by the Attorney General’s own Institute of Administration and Appraisals of National Assets (Indaabin), as well as properties under investigation by the Attorney General’s internal terrorism division.
Likewise, if summoned by the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime (FEMDO), building owners must turn over their property assets to the FGR immediately without the chance to appeal or receive compensation.
Saturday’s seizure resulted in the FGR taking control of Prolongación Paseo de la Reforma 371, which encompasses a range of buildings from office space to residential high rises across its land. The land will purportedly be used in the expanded construction of the FGR’s so-called National Park of Justice.
Other Santa Fe properties that may be facing imminent seizure include one of Mexico City’s most prominent universities, the Universidad Iberoamericana, as well as the Santa Fe Shopping Center and numerous residential and commercial complexes.