“The ‘mega project’ will be Sedena’s patrimony.” Rogelio Jiménez Pons, General Director of the Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo, FONATUR, indicated that the resources would no longer pass through the Ministry of Finance.
MEXICO (El Financiero) – All the resources obtained through the Mayan Train, a priority project of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will go to the Army and the nearly 1,500 kilometers of the railroad will become the property of the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), revealed Rogelio Jiménez Pons, general director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur).
In an interview with El Financiero, Jiménez Pons explained that the entire Tren Maya, and not only sections 1, 6 and 7 as initially proposed, will be the property of the military, which will obtain profits from the transportation of passengers and cargo to feed the pension funds that until now depended on the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
With this, detailed the director of Fonatur, all the resources, including the profits related to the railroad operation in the southeast, will benefit the military.
The resources obtained will no longer go to the Ministry of Finance to form part of the expenditure budget but will go directly to the military’s coffers.
“Exactly (the profits will go to the military, not to the treasury). Pensions and other things would no longer depend on the treasury. The owner will remain. We are going to grant all (the stretches) to the Army”, remarked Jiménez Pons in an interview with this media.
The director of Fonatur acknowledged that the military would be the “winners” with the southeastern railroad project, which will pass through Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Chiapas, and Tabasco.
Jiménez Pons affirmed that the armed forces’ entry as owners of the mega-work would prevent the railroad from being privatized, as happened with other projects under previous governments.
“It is perfect that it is a prize for the armed forces. If we have a nationalist vision of long term patrimonial, that this is a business, but of the state, we are going to try to make this a business for the benefit of the greatest number of Mexicans, what better than the Army is in charge of this business, it guarantees us many things and particularly that it will not be privatized,” he added.
The director of Fonatur said that the Mayan Train has a “national security” factor because there are conflict zones in the southeast of the country, where cartels, human trafficking groups, and illegal cattle selling groups operate, so the participation of the military would diminish the impact that such activities would have on the project.
“The moment you bring in an institution with certain values, with certain discipline, with rigor and knowing that it will never be privatized, because it will belong to the Army, well, go ahead with that, then you make a solid institution, which can see the project in the long term. And we will see the commercialization separately, Fonatur will see that”, he specified.
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