President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has announced that construction on a new airport in the Mexico City region would be suspended definitively following a recent referendum on the issue. Nearly 70 percent of participants in the non-legally-binding vote, held October 25-28, chose to abandon the USD 13 billion project in Texcoco and instead add two runways to the Santa Lucía Air Force Base (NLU), located in Zumpango, to accommodate commercial flights; Mexico City-Benito Juárez (MEX) and Toluca (TLC) international airports would also be refurbished.
The voting was marked by technical issues (including claims that it was possible for each person to cast more than one ballot) and low participation rates (around 1 percent of the eligible population). Associated protests regarding the referendum process or the airport’s construction are possible.
Following the announcement, which was criticized by business groups, both the peso and the Mexican stock market fell in value. Current President Enrique Peña Nieto has announced that construction on the Texcoco airport, approximately one-third completed, would continue until November 30, the end of his term.
Voters are deciding whether to continue construction on the new airport or to abandon it and refurbish two other nearby airports. The vote, called for by President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), is not legally binding.
Individuals in Mexico are advised to avoid any related protests as a precaution.
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