Trees, Birds, Ponds: Mexico City’s Ancient Lake Reclaims Scrapped Airport

09/07/2020

Source: Voice of America

TEXCOCO, MEXICO – Bright green stalks of weeds are sprouting from the ground where planes were supposed to take off at a new Mexico City airport as officials let nature take over in their bid to transform the marshy swath of an ancient lake into a giant park.

The ghostly skeletons of a partly built control tower and flight terminal are recognizably in the style of Norman Foster, the British architect commissioned by Mexico’s last president to build a futuristic international airport at a cost of $13 billion on 4,800 hectares just east of the capital.

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Mexican president trades barbs with business, civic groups

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09/25/19 – AP News

By Mark Stevenson

Mexico’s president engaged in a war of words Wednesday with business and civic groups that have lodged legal challenges to one of his pet projects.

The groups were angered when Andrés Manuel López Obrador abandoned the previous administration’s partly built airport on a former lakebed, claiming the project was drenched in corruption and cost too much.

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Volcanic rock for Mexico City airport came from quarries that operated illegally

airport

09/24/19 – Mexico News Daily

More than half of the quarries that supplied the volcanic rocks tezontle and basalt for the construction of the new Mexico City International Airport (NAIM) operated illegally between 2016 and 2018.

An investigation by the newspaper El Universal determined that 106 of 205 quarries located in 24 México state municipalities near the abandoned airport site in Texcoco violated the law.

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Mexico President Says All Companies Involved in Canceled Airport Paid Off

8/28/19 – New York Times

By Dave Graham

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday that all the companies involved in the construction of the part-built $13 billion Mexico City airport he canceled in late October had now been paid off.

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Mexico president kicks off new capital airport project

4/30/2019 – The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday symbolically launched work on a new airport for Mexico City to replace the nearly half-built $13 billion project he cancelled upon taking office.

López Obrador promised the new Felipe Ángeles airport northeast of the capital won’t exceed its budget and will save the government money even with the cancellation of the partially built airport.

“It’s going to resolve the problem of saturation at the current Mexico City airport , but also be an example of how you can carry out a rational, austere policy based on honesty that needs to establish itself as the way to live and the way to govern in our country,” López Obrador said.

The new airport — named for a general allied with revolutionary icon Pancho Villa — is at the Santa Lucia military air base and the army is in charge of getting it built for $4.1 billion.

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Auditors: $167 million misspent in Mexico airport project

2/21/2019 – The Washington Post

15133119695_082747d30d_bBy the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Mexican federal auditors say they have found $167 million in mismanagement and questionable expenses at a now-cancelled project to build a new Mexico City airport.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had been criticized for cancelling the $13 billion project, which was about half built. Lopez Obrador contends the project was unnecessary, mismanaged and environmentally questionable.

The federal auditor’s office said in a report Wednesday that “there was no integrated plan for the project, which led to deficiencies and limitations.”

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Mexico City Airport Group agrees to pay $1.77 billion to investors

2/13/2019 – Reuters

15133119695_082747d30d_b.jpgMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The government-run Mexico City Airport Group (GACM) said on Tuesday it has agreed to pay some 34 billion pesos ($1.77 billion) to investors who hold shares issued by a trust created to help finance the construction of the now-canceled airport.

The agreement would allow investors in the securities linked to the ditched project to get at least some of their money back.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the cancellation of the partially-built $13 billion airport in late October, dismissing the project as tainted by corruption and too costly.

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Mexico says it has investor consent for airport bond buyback

12/19/2018 Financial Times

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to scrap the $13bn Norman Foster-designed airport in Texcoco, on the outskirts of Mexico City © Reuters

In a bigger-than-expected vote of market confidence in Mexico’s leftist nationalist government, almost three-quarters of bond investors in an airport project that is destined to be scrapped tendered their paper in a buyback designed to avoid a messy default. But the overwhelming success of the offer does not mean that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose supporters are dubbed “Amlovers”, has seduced investors permanently, analysts said. Mexico had issued $6bn in bonds to help pay for a $13bn Norman Foster-designed airport in Mexico City that is already one-third constructed. But Mr López Obrador’s decision to kill the project following an informal people’s poll in October, held even before he took office, stunned the market.

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Investor group rejects new Mexico airport bond buyback plan

12/13/2018 – Reuters

11227926_308216752682196_8676740954999549706_o.jpgMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A group of investors holding bonds issued for a new Mexico City airport that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has canceled said on Wednesday that it cannot support an amended bond buyback because problems still remain despite improvements to the plan.

The Mexico City Airport Trust, which is overseeing the buyback, on Tuesday said it would offer investors a better deal to repurchase bonds issued to finance the project, which Lopez Obrador scrapped to pursue a cheaper alternative.

The bondholder group, which says it represents more than half the $6 billion principal amount issue, also said it still wants to discuss its concerns with the airport trust.

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Mexican Government Under Pressure to Improve Airport Bond Deal

12-06-2018 – Bloomberg

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Photographer: Brett Gundlock/Bloomberg

By Justin Villamil and Pablo Rosendo Gonzalez

Investors in Mexico City’s planned airport project want a lot more from the government before they agree to its buyback offer.

An explicit federal guarantee to honor the debt would go a long way toward resolving concerns, according to chats with more than half a dozen bondholders who asked not to be identified before any formal talks are held. Barring that, the government should agree to buy back a larger portion of the bonds or offer higher compensation for investors who hold onto the notes but agree to waive the terms set forth when the bonds were sold, they said.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration is struggling to attract support for its proposal to end a standoff with investors who loaned $6 billion to construct a new Mexico City airport, a project that the new president wants to scrap. An offer to buy back about $1.8 billion of the bonds for as little as 90 cents on the dollar and provide less than 1 cent in compensation for investors who agree to waive their right to declare an immediate default when construction ends has been rejected by an ad hoc group of bondholders who say they own more than 50 percent of one of the notes, enough to block the deal from going through.

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