San Miguel will be better than ever, says Trejo
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
On October 10, before the governor of Guanajuato, Miguel Márquez Márquez, local and federal legislators and some special guests, Mauricio Trejo Pureco was sworn in as the new mayor of San Miguel de Allende. When the mayor undertook his duties, he made a pledge to work in a committed, honest and respectful way during his three-year term. He spoke in general about his work schedule and said that San Miguel de Allende will be the most secure and transparent city in the country, adding that the first convention center and an industrial zone will be constructed in the municipality. He also announced that a campus of the UNAM (National Autonomous University of México) will be built in San Miguel.
New city council
The new city councilors were also sworn in, and Trejo ask them to show exemplary behavior during their three years in office. “If you do, sanmiguelenses should acknowledge it, but if you do not, even the children should demand it of you,” Trejo remarked. The city council is made up of 12 members; seven of them, including Mayor Trejo and Assistant Mayor José Luis Chagoyan, are member of the PRI party, as well as five city councilors: Luis Ricardo Ferro Baeza, Viridiana Rosas, Leonardo Gustavo Carrillo, Martha Rocío López Galván and María Ortiz Vázquez. In the election of July 1, the PAN party gained four positions, which are occupied by Gabriela Rodríguez Granados, Javier Álvarez Brunell, Oswaldo García Arteaga and Fernando García Chávez. José Luis Zavala Rosiles is the only city councilor from the PRD party. The secretary of the city council, who cannot vote at city council meetings, is Ramón Medellín.
The new cabinet
Édgar Bautista, head of Desarrollo Urbano (Urban Development), and Julián Villela, head of Servicios Públicos (Public Services), will remain in their posts in the new cabinet. Villela has worked for nine years for the public administration. Martín Salgado Cacho and Jaime Martínez Tapia, who were city councilors during Luz María Nuñez´s administration, are head of Desarrollo Social (Social Development) and Oficial Mayor (General Administrator), respectively. María Elena Vázquez Muñoz, who left the 2009–2012 administration “due to irregularities,” was appointed as head of Obras Públicas (Public Works). Víctor Manuel Velázquez was appointed head of the Ecology Department, and Acacio Martínez heads the Department of Education and Culture.
The office of Liaison with NGOs and Attention to Expats will be headed by Ana Paula Dávalos Rodríguez. Alejandro Ramírez, a former Tae Kwon Do champion, is the head of the Commission of Sports. The city council approved the designation of Felipe Cohen as head of the Civil Protection Department. The director of the municipal DIF (Department of Family Integration) is Karla Silva Licea, and Mauricio Trejo’s wife, Karla Ramírez Agundis, is the president of the board at that institution. Trejo’s personal assistant is Benjamín Ramírez.
Other departments and work schedule
When Mauricio Trejo talked about his work schedule, he commented that although criminal acts have occurred in recent years in San Miguel, it is still one of the most secure cities in the country and on the continent. “In a talk that I had with the expat community I told them that San Miguel is more secure than Austin, Albuquerque, Houston, Santa Fe or La Jolla, California,” he said. Trejo said that security in the city must be reinforced and for that reason the Traffic Department is headed by a lawyer, Eleazar Romero. The Department of Public Security has been entrusted to Octavio Drago Quero, a 27-year-old sanmiguelense. “The subject of security is very important in the city. If we do not have security, we can forget about all the other plans we have,” stated Trejo.
San Miguel “deserves to be ranked first internationally” with regard to tourism, said Trejo, and for that reason the Department of Tourism and Economic Development is led by “a brilliant and capable young woman, who will help us to attract tourism on an international scale. María José Garrido Sánchez will show the world what San Miguel de Allende is, as well as the investment opportunities it has,” commented Trejo.
On the topic of tourism, Trejo, who said he has an amazing communication with governor Márquez, asked him for help in building needed infrastructure in the city, which is important for attracting tourists who want to visit the city but do not come here because of the poor quality of the roads and airports. He announced at the same time that in the last few days the state government allotted financial resources to restore the city’s aerodrome. Trejo also said that they are working on the process of beginning construction on the first convention center in San Miguel, which will increase tourism during the weekdays.
According to Trejo, 70 percent of sanmiguelenses depend on tourism and the service industry for the livelihoods. However, “it is important to turn our attention to the campo,” he said. “We need to help our people from the rural communities, who do not work in services or make a living from tourism and are losing the battle against poverty.” To help people in the rural communities, Trejo mentioned that the president of the Commission of Social Development is city councilor Fernando García, a livestock farmer, who will begin a very aggressive program of communal greenhouses. “We already have customers for the products. This will be the project for rescuing our people from the rural communities,” said Trejo.
The new mayor announced the construction of an industrial zone, saying that he has already started talking with possible investors. Regarding urban development, he announced that he will continue or revive projects from former administrations and see them to completion, always with support from the state and federal government. “San Miguel has been growing in a very disorderly way in recent years, and we must reclaim the path. The city cannot be reinvented every three years, and for that reason we are going to work on an urban planning scheme for the next 20 years,” commented Trejo.
Mayor Trejo thanked the governor for his help in bringing a UNAM campus to San Miguel and commented that this municipality will be an example of transparency in Mexico and will challenge the rest of the municipalities in Mexico. According to Trejo, his city council “will be the best that San Miguel has had in its history.”
Support from the governor and legislature
Governor Miguel Márquez said that San Miguel will have his support and that during his campaign sanmiguelenses always gave him their help and affection and helped him to win the election. Márquez said that there is great communication with sanmiguelenses and projects such as the UNAM School of Languages “which currently is just a verbal commitment with the rector” will help to improve academic quality in the city. The convention center, he said, will attract a different kind of tourism, and the industrial zone will generate possibilities for employment for people in the rural communities.
Luis Alberto Villarreal, former San Miguel mayor and currently a federal legislator and the coordinator of the PAN deputies in the congress, told Atención that in San Miguel “there is hope. We listened to a mayor who speaks with his heart, who wants to be inclusive and work for the sanmiguelenses’ well-being, and we will respond to his call. San Miguel must work toward the benefit of the citizens. We will be with him and we will support his projects by approving federal financial resources.”
On October 12, Trejo held a public event at the Jardín to introduce his cabinet and city council. In his speech he said that “San Miguel will be a more beautiful and secure city than ever, because this administration will work to improve the quality of life of sanmiguelenses—even if we are receiving an administration that is financially destroyed, without a public account, without regulations, without furniture, patrols or police officers.”