Local government continues working on controversial legal cases
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
A new Coppel store is being constructed on calle Codo, but the local administration told Atención that the McDonald’s will not be opened on calle Canal and that the granted permits for that franchise have expired. In addition, they commented that the city council has no interest in renewing the permits.
Alí Patlán, legal coordinator of the local government, also announced that the BANTERRA case is closed, but in the meantime the local government is waiting for a resolution from the authorities related to a criminal complaint filed by the former director of Public Security, Carlos Godínez. Patlán commented that Godínez will not become a millionaire with the administration’s money.
The legal coordinator also announced the removal of the cell tower in Atotonilco, although the one installed earlier on Stirling Dickinson is still there. A criminal complaint from the administration against the company that installed it in a violation of municipal edicts is still pending.
The BANTERRA case was one of the first social problems that the 2009–2012 administration had to face. The city council had granted to the company a change of land use near Atotonilco from forest to housing, for the construction of more than 8,000 houses. Social activists commented that it would visually affect the World Heritage area in Atotonilco and a paleontological zone containing fossils older than 50 million years would be adversely affected. The permits granted by the city council, headed by Luz María Núñez Flores, were given on the condition that BANTERRA fulfill 18 more requirements. On May 29, 2012, because the company did not fulfill the requirements the permits were revoked by the city council. BANTERRA filed a criminal complaint against the local administration— one they could win, former mayor Núñez told Atención. Nevertheless, Patlán said that the current administration has everything under control and will win the case. Actually, remarked Patlán, BANTERRA is not very interested in the case.
In July 2011, Arcos Sercal Inmobiliara de S. de R.L. de C.V. began proceedings to obtain the permits for installing a restaurant in the historic center at Canal 16 and the permits were granted by the Urban Development Department. It turned out the permits were for installing a McDonald’s fast food franchise. Later, on November 25, signs with the phrase “Obra suspendida” (Suspended work) were placed on the building. In December of the same year, residents held a demonstration against the franchise and formed the group Protege San Miguel, which has continued fighting against the construction. On January 9, representatives of McDonald’s held a meeting with the group and were very confident of winning the case. “We will win the legal case, and McDonald’s will open. It is just a matter of time,” said one of the McDonald’s representatives. Nevertheless nothing happened and the permits granted by the 2009–2012 administration have expired. The current administration will not approve a renewal, remarked Patlán. With regard to the Coppel store on Codo, he said that the company fulfilled all the requirements and there are no legal problems there.
Recently, Atención reported that a cell tower (clandestinely installed) in Atotonilco was removed. Patlán said that the expenses were covered by the owners of the property and Centennial Towers. Patlán also commented that the company, along with the government, would look for a new place to install the structure. Regarding the antenna erected on Stirling Dickinson, the legal coordinator said that there is a criminal complaint in the Ministerio Público against the company because it violated signs placed by the Urban Development Department. The administration does not yet know whether the cell tower is working.