The National Institute for Information Access and Personal Data Protection (INAI) ordered the National Bank for Foreign Trade (BANCOMEXT) to reveal information regarding financing approved for PEMEX and its contractors toward the construction of the Dos Bocas Refinery.
According to INAI, someone asked BANCOMEXT for information regarding the approved resources for the refinery, which the government has named Olmeca. The person asked for detailed information like amounts and characteristics of the original financing structure, its restructuring, business plans, and financial forecasts, among other requests. However, BANCOMEXT refused to provide the information arguing that it did not have access to it. In response, the asked filed a revision petition for INAI, compelling the institute to act.
The institute consequently consulted BANCOMEXT’s Institutional Program 2020-2024, which established the government’s priority projects like the Mayan Train, Felipe Ángeles International Airport and the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, among other projects. During its research, INAI found a news article stating that BANCOMEXT granted a US$31 million credit line in 2021 for the supply of steel, rods, and other materials for the construction of the refinery. INAI concluded that this evidence proves that BANCOMEXT can indeed provide information.
INAI, therefore, rebuffed BANCOMEXT’s response and ordered the financial institution to carry out exhaustive research. During the analysis of the case, Adrián Alcalá, Commissioner, INAI, highlighted the importance of the Olmeca refinery, since it will allow Mexico to increase its fuel supply and become more self-sufficient in its energy, reducing fuel costs to the benefit of Mexican citizens.
This is not the first instance that INAI asked for information regarding one of the key federal infrastructure projects. In September, the institute ordered the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) to disclose details of the Mayan Train’s reforestation program, arguing that the project could compromise the health of the environment. On that occasion, SEMARNAT also failed to give appropriate information since it delivered it too late and refused to deliver the complete information, limited to a 61-page document. “It is of the utmost importance to review this information because we need to know if the environment of the locals will be affected by the project,” said Norma del Río, Commissioner, INAI.