Photo: Deposit Photos

By KELIN DILLON

In yet another revelation brought forth by documents leaked to the public by hacktivist group Guacamaya, the reconstruction of Mexico City’s Line 12 metro – part of which collapsed in a tragic accident that left 26 dead in its wake in May 2021 – is purportedly using steel obtained from the controversially cancelled Mexico City New International Airport (NAICM), as donated to the project by the Mexican Army at the request of Mexico City Governor Claudia Sheinbaum.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) previously cancelled the Texcoco airport project at the end of 2018 under reasoning that its contract allocations were rife with corruption and that construction costs were too expensive, later replacing the facility with the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) – a project which, it should be noted, went more than 36 percent above its own allocated construction budget and was the subject of its own contentious corruption reports.

Now, the Guacamaya leaks of data from the Mexican Secretariat of Defense (Sedena) revealed that the Sedena and the Mexico City Secretariat of Works and Services have been working together to utilize the NAICM’s unused steel materials to assist in the rebuilding of the Metro Collective Transportation System’s (STC) Line 12.

Emails from the hack show Mexico City Secretary of Transportation Hugo Flores Sánchez asking the Sedena for an updated inventory of available steel reserves from the NAICM, and a donation agreement dated for October 2021 details the some 20,000 tons of steel donated by the Armed Forces toward the Mexico City metro’s reconstruction efforts.

Gustavo Vallejo – the man in charge of the Armed Forces’ construction of the AIFA – sent a letter in December 2021 noting the extraction of 13,000 tons of steel designated for the STC project. It’s presently unknown whether the remaining requested 7,000 tons were delivered to the Mexico City government or not.

Other emails from the Sedena leak show that the NAICM steel is also being utilized across other public works projects, including the Bosque de Chapultepec Cultural Complex, and that the Mexico City government requested an additional two tons of steel in November 2021, citing availability and pricing issues for the material on the global marketplace.

Mexico City’s Line 12 is expected to reopen its underground portions for service at the end of 2022, said Sheinbaum, a timeline likely made possible by the Texcoco steel donation.

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