In contrast to the benefits it received from the PRI and PAN governments, in the current administration Germán Larrea Mota Velasco, President of Grupo México and the second richest man in the country, was forced to answer many issues that he was waiting for, such as:
- Fulfill your tax obligations
- Restore railroad concessions
- Return millionaire advances for Mayan Train jobs
- Compensate and fix industrial pollution caused by its mining companies
- Facing criminal charges for violations of agreements and contracts with its subsidiaries
This is the detail of the journalist Miguel Badillo in his column for Contralínea, who remembers that In previous governments, several Larrea companies that make up Grupo México polluted rivers, land and air. In several states of the country, they violate agreements and contracts for government jobs and services and seek to evade the treasury.
“In the last six-year term everything was allowed by Grupo México and if there was any intention to make it comply with the law, its law firms immediately went to court to seek protection, where judges, magistrates and ministers of its service were given. It ruled in their favor,” said Badillo.
Upon arrival, AMLO was able, through legal disputes, private negotiations and public exhibitions, for Grupo México to recognize and accept, with the consent of Larrea, return public works to the federal government, return advances on unfulfilled contracts, assume responsibility for ecological disasters, pay 24 billion pesos annually in taxes and fight in court for a tax credit of more than 200 million pesos.
As an example, the reporter remembers how The federal government was able to recover sections of the railroad tracks of 120 kilometers between Coatzacoalcos and Medias Aguas, in Veracruz, where Ferrosur, a subsidiary of Grupo México, is under concession.
In this matter, corporate lawyers They demanded a payment of 9,500 million pesos for that section that was recovered by the AMLO Government, that it is considered of public use, with the purpose of building a corridor that allows joining the Pacific and Atlantic coasts through the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
President López Obrador refused to give any cash payment of public money to Grupo México, convincing him to accept the extension of a term for eight years of another concession on a section of railways that goes from the isthmus to Veracruz, which expired in 2036 and lasted until 2044.
Another example is when The federal government terminated a contract with another subsidiary of the consortium to build Section 5 of the Maya Train, which goes from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, and where Larrea demanded a payment of 4 billion pesos for the cancellation of the contract.
The journalist explained that The problem occurred when the AMLO Government requested that the work be completed by July 2023, but the company opposed it, arguing that it was impossible due to changes in route layouts with the aim of protecting the environment and the region’s wildlife.
With the cancellation of the contract, Larrea ordered his lawyers to file a lawsuit for compensation of 4 billion pesos, But at the negotiating table it was determined not to pay a single peso to Grupo México and, instead, the company must return 1.2 billion pesos as part of the advances it collected.
At the moment Grupo México’s litigation continues in the criminal complaint the federal government filed against it in Augustwhere Larrea and his corporation were accused of failing to carry out the environmental remediation of the Sonora River and the Bacanuchi tributary.
The subsidiary company, Buenavista del Cobre, causing severe toxic contamination due to the discharge of 40 meters of acidulated copper sulfate in that river on August 6, 2014.
As explained by the Secretary of Environment and Nature, María Luisa Albores González, This is the worst environmental disaster in the history of metal mining in the country, because it was negligent in construction due to poor hydrological design of the Tinaja I system.
Larrea promised to fix the alleged contamination and compensate the affected population, but Grupo México He assured that he actually paid the bills of Enrique Peña Nieto’s government officials and they stole the money.
Since there is no evidence of this, he is now facing a criminal complaint, therefore President López Obrador says his government is ready to withdraw it if Larrea can fix the damage done and compensate the victims.
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Also, the journalist remembers that since 2021 Larrea has appeared the long list of names leaked in millions of documents identifying businessmen, officials and politicians from around the world who hide their wealth in tax havens to avoid paying taxes, money laundering and triangulating resources.
The above is called the scandal of Panama Papers and, in the case of Larrea, it appears with a tax credit of more than 200 million pesos that the Tax Administration Service (SAT) requires you to pay.
Since then, Badillo mentioned, The AMLO Government began to compile a thick file on the financial operations of Grupo México companies, review of income and expenses in detail, despite the disagreement shown by Larrea.
Moreover, the reporter remembered that The federal government is reviewing the possibility of expanding the use of railways, which are currently only used for the transportation of products and goods, so that they can also be used to transport passengers, so they need to be rehabilitated and electrified.
Explain that first it will be a invitation to sellers to respond within a reasonable time to said memorandum and, it will seek that entrepreneurs present projects that allow the rehabilitation of the railways and the planning of passenger trains.
“If they say: ‘We don’t care, we will continue to provide the freight train service’, well, then we have two possibilities, one is that some tracks are concessioned by the Secretary of the Navy. In in other words, the Isthmus Train, which was already managed by the Marina, reached Veracruz and Mexico City, that is, as a concession. And the other thing is that the Mayan Train became a train to the north and reached Guadalajara and Sinaloa, Sonora and Nogales, and the other route to Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo. In other words, that’s another option,” said AMLO.
There is also the option of This proposal from the president is for the Government to start a partnership with national companies who is willing to repair the railways and build passenger trains.
If the proposal is accepted, freight and passenger train schedules will be regulated, aiming to benefit local communities.