Mexican Supreme Court Blocks AMLO’s Express Permits for Flagship Projects

Photo: iStock


The Mexican Supreme Court (SCJN) on Monday, May 22, once again faced off against the nation’s authoritarian President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), overturning a decree that would have expedited his flagship works with express permits and a blanket permit for nonaccountability.

In a six-to-five vote, Mexico’s highest court declared the presidential decree illegal and invalid.

The decisive vote was given by Supreme Court Justice Margarita Ríos Farjat, who supported the rejection of the presidential decree published in November 2021, which forced federal agencies to issue, within a maximum of five days, permits of up to 12 months for priority works of López Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) government, including the Tren Maya tourist train and the Dos Bocas oil refinery.

Notwithstanding, the SCJN decision does not affect permits already approved as it is not retroactive.

Justice Juan Luis González Alcántara presented the proposal to invalidate the presidential decree at the request of the National Institute of Access to Information (INAI).

González Alcántara barely achieved a sufficient majority for his proposal that the effects “between parties” should lead to the elimination of the agreement, because it was addressed exclusively to one of the “parties,” that is, to the dependencies of the executive.

“The agreement was issued by the executive power, which is the defendant, and said agreement is an instruction to the agencies and entities that are part of said power. If the effect of the judgment is to invalidate the agreement with respect to the executive, and the agreement was addressed to the dependencies and entities that are part of the executive, the agreement is thus invalidated in its entirety,” said González Alcántara.

Because the invalidated decree classified priority works as national security, the INAI was prevented from demanding that the information be declassified and made public.

Leave a Reply