President López Obrador mentioned in today’s press conference, that he just learned of a corrupt contract former President Peña Nieto approved during the transition phase, after AMLO won the elections. The contract gave control of the largest port in Mexico, the port of Veracruz, to a private corporation.
“I just found out that the port of Veracruz was concessioned to a company, first for 50 years and 10 days after we won, that company received another concession, extending the term to 50 more years.”
The contract, which no one knew existed since 1994, transferred the port of Veracruz from the government to a private corporation called APIVER, which is owned by FEMSA, and which is owned by Coca-Cola. The port is a key strategic economic asset in which the federal government of Mexico has been investing in since 2019 in the amount of about 25 billion U.S. dollars, thinking the port of Veracruz belongs to the state, when in reality belongs to Coca-Cola.
The contract with APIVER was extended an additional 50 years by Former President Peña Nieto, four days after AMLO won the presidential election in 2018, bringing the total to 100 years, therefore giving control of the port of Veracruz to APIVER until 2094.
President Lopez Obrador has been cleaning up the federal government of corruption since he took office at the beginning of 2019. But it is quite impressive the level of corruption AMLO inherited. In 1994 until the moment MORENA, the progressive new party, had a massive win in the summer of 2018, overthrowing the corrupt regime that for 36 years had full control of the government and almost destroyed the country’s entire economic and social sectors.
This new discovery is yet another scandal left by years of corruption and impunity. For the port of Veracruz, the director of the APIVER corporation pretended to be working as an employee of the federal government when, in reality, he was receiving a double salary from the private Corporation and the federal government. He was able to get away with this for so long because the private corporation and the port have the same name.
AMLO announced that he learned of all of this this morning after he opened a task force to investigate how many legal and illegal contracts and concessions the previous administration signed.
The president explained that he immediately fired the director of ports Miguel Angel Yanez Munoz who was replaced with Rosa Isela Rodriguez. The director of Ports was able conceal the actual nature of the contract, hiding it from the president with full knowledge that ridding the country of corruption is one of AMLO’s main priorities. Lopez Obrador condemned the corruption that is still entrenched in migration, customs and the ports and that is why he said that “Order will be restored in these sectors.” AMLO said he and his administration are going to find that contract and find a way to annul it. Just this week, 1,040 Immigration officers were sanctioned for corruption.
“We must seek to revoke that contract, for the management of the ports,”
said the president.
Currently, his administration is set up to create a mini Panama canal from the port of Veracruz to the port of Oaxaca. The mega development project will help the economic growth of the southeast of Mexico which is one of the poorest areas in the country. The scam was quite impressive: the director of ports pretended to work for the government when he was actually working for the private Corporation, and did not tell the federal government or the president of the existence of this contract.
In reference to the contract extension, the secretary of the department of Communications and Transportation granted APIVER S.A. de C.V., on July 6, 2018, the 100 years extended contract as the type of deal multinational corporations manage to strike with bribes and acts of corruption.
“Imagine! A century-long concession from the port of Veracruz. How did they sign that [a contract like that]?”
said the president.
In the following video produced by Televisa, the director of ports can be seen showcasing Lopez Obrador’s project which includes American Corporations Hutchinson Ports, ICAVE and Kansas City Southern, among many others, corporations who are in business with APIVER. This mega project of the Port of Veracruz can be seen in the video.
The question now is, does the private corporation own the faith of millions who need the jobs generated by the Mexican Panama Canal? And how about the hundreds of contracts already signed under false pretenses?
Not even on Netflix do you find plots like this. The closest to it is in the in the movie Jack Reacher where the mafia construction company bribed politicians to obtain government contracts .