The Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies approved an “urgent” reform to three federal laws to guarantee that the Army manages the Mayan Train indefinitely, in addition to empowering the president to make direct allocations of public services to any parastatal company.
With the vote in favor of 264 deputies from Morena and its allies, and 216 against the opposition block, the Regulatory Law of the Railway Service, the Federal Law of Parastatal Entities, and the Law of General Highways of Communication, establishing that “The title of assignment in favor of parastatal entities will have an indefinite validity.”
When the president makes any assignment to a parastatal, it “may not be assigned or transferred under any title,” and may only conclude when it is irrefutably proven that said assignment lacks utility or public interest.
The reform, which was referred to the Senate, provides that –for reasons of general interest or national security The holder of the federal Executive may directly assign to parastatal entities the provision of public services, “as well as the use, exploitation and exploitation of assets subject to the public domain regime.”
In this case, in February 2022, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that the Olmeca-Maya-Mexica companywhich depends on the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), would manage the Mayan Train and the new airports of Tulum and Chetumal in Quintana Roo, as well as the Palenque airfield in Chiapas.
Although the legal changes do not expressly mention the Mayan Train, the deputies endorsed that all direct assignments made by the president in railway matters will be indefinite.
The problem is not only the permanent nature that the assignments made by the president will now have, but also This figure is highly discretionary, in addition to the fact that, in the railway field, it includes that through an assignment the exploitation, operation, conservation, maintenance and interconnection of all the railways in Mexico are carried out.
In this vein, the National Action Party (PAN) bench in the Chamber of Deputies considered that this reform “attempts against competition, efficiency, growth and development of the sector” of the railways.
The allocations, as they were in the reform, are “a figure that takes us back to the past in which the State controlled the productive sectors through parastatal entities,” said Jorge Triana, PAN representative, when presenting – without success – a reserve to the minute that was approved.
José Antonio García, also a PAN member, added that the reform seeks to maintain the opacity that prevails in the construction work of the Mayan Train. “The rush of those who have a majority in this room should address the issue of insecurity experienced by the Mexican railway system, (…) and not in looking, I reiterate, the opacity with the handling of the Mayan Train”, said.
On his side, the legislator of the Movimiento Ciudadano, Sergio Barrera Sepúlveda, proposed, also in a reservation to the reform, that the allocations of public services not be indefinite, but that they have a duration of 20 years, which was not accepted by the majority of Morena in the lower house.
The author of this initiative, which has yet to be endorsed by the Senate, is the Morenista deputy Pablo Amílcar Sandoval Ballesteros, who justified his proposal because “railroads are a priority area” for the country.
“From the analysis of the current regulation, it can be deduced that a legal improvement is required that establishes that the allocation titles must always be kept in the hands of the State and there must be an indefinite period of time for them, so that there is no improper transfer to any person” , is detailed in the explanatory statement of the reform.
Thus, with these changes, it is established “the obligation not to transfer the assignment titles” to anyone other than a government institution.
surya palaces Journalist and lawyer, specialist in legal analysis and human rights. She has been a reporter, radio host and editor.