Tensions Escalate at Santa LuciaBy Pedro Alcalá | Fri, 10/02/2020 - 18:04
Mexico City’s new Felipe Ángeles airport in Santa Lucia regularly presents its weekly video progress report on Mondays (this week’s report is available on Youtube, uploaded by a channel exclusive to the project and showing a considerable evolution of the runway’s development). The project, however, remains controversial.
One of the most pressing issues is the one brought up by the agrarian communities of San Miguel Xaltocan, who have reiterated the legitimate nature of their claim to the land rights of over 128ha that are to be occupied by the airport. Members of these communities have maintained a permanent encampment in these lands for the last 100 days to block any occupation until they are fairly compensated for their use. These dissidents are represented by José Luis González Martínez, who was quoted this week in a report by Excelsior saying that fights over the distribution of property that will replace the land to be used by the airport (meaning the land given to them as compensation) are already escalating into a dangerous situation dividing not only communities but also families. “We have tried to tell the government that those of us in the encampment want to solve this problem, because it not only represents a land problem but a security problem; this is devolving into anarchy,” said Gónzalez.
Members of these communities have been unsuccessful in their dialogues with SEDATU, who they also blame for a lack of construction of infrastructure that was promised as part of the original Santa Lucia airport proposal. The prolongation of this conflict has prompted SEGOB to step into the negotiations and expedite the settlement process. González plans to meet this week with Omar de Lassé Cañas, Director General of SEGOB’s office of Interinstitutional Coordination, to come up with a plan that can conclude all negotiations to the satisfaction of all communities involved. González has made it clear that he and the communities he represents will not be pressured or coerced into signing an agreement that does not honor the promises made by the original airport development plan.