The Santa Lucía airport was built in opacity and by “hands-on”, since practically 100 percent of the contracts were by direct assignment or by restricted invitation to suppliers chosen by the military commanders and of course, president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The military commanders who were at the forefront of the construction of the Santa Lucía airport awarded almost 100 percent of the contracts without bidding, many of them to suppliers that were inexperienced or lacked infrastructure or facilities.
In the review of a sample of 1,233 contracts that the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) assigned for the project of Santa Lucía, Mexicans against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) identified cases of newly created companies that obtained multimillion-US-dollar awards; suppliers linked to billers and even contractors with a history of corruption.
Of the contracts reviewed, 77.24 percent were assigned by restricted invitation to suppliers chosen by military commanders and 22.76 percent by a direct assignment.
Through requests for access to information, MCCI managed a copy of the contracts of the different construction fronts of the airport, but Sedena only delivered 1,233 contracts for an amount of 17.3 billion pesos, which represent around a quarter of the cost of the entire project. That is, the details of how 3 out of 4 pesos were spent remain unknown.
According to the official airport construction website, there are only 20 fronts under construction, but MCCI identified that there were at least 26 and they are the ones that were requested via transparency.
These fronts correspond –among others- to the acquisition of supplies and equipment for the construction of the control tower, the central runways, the passenger terminal, and the airport parking lot, among other spaces.
However, Sedena only agreed to deliver information on 23 of the 26 fronts requested by MCCI, and denied documents for the works corresponding to the road interconnection of the El Caracol section to Caseta Tultepec; the section IACM Terminal 2- El Caracol, and the details of the work of the military police brigade, arguing that these fronts were not in the process of being executed, for which reason no contracts had been made.
According to the response that SEDENA gave regarding the denial of information from Front 4, interconnection works between the Mexico City International Airport (IACM) and the Santa Lucía Airport were contemplated for the New Airport.
During the review of the documents delivered by Sedena, MCCI detected that the construction of the mixed civil/military airport and the rehabilitation of military installations is made up of at least 48 fronts.
In addition to denying access to all fronts of the work, Sedena gave MCCI incomplete files. This could be verified because the file numbers are frequently skipped in serial numbering.
All the contracts, to which MCCI had access, are basically for the purchase of materials, as well as the rental and acquisition of electronic and transportation equipment. None corresponds to the works executed in the place, which were in charge of military engineers.