An Industrial Park Will Diversify the Local Economy
Text and Photos by Antonio De Jesús Aguado
When Miguel Márquez Márquez and Mauricio Trejo were candidates for governor and mayor, they agreed that San Miguel de Allende needed an industrial park in order to include the city in the economic development of nearby municipalities like Silao, Celaya, Irapuato, and Salamanca that are part of the industrial corridor and to diversify the city’s economy. For the construction of the industrial park, the labor of 1,500 people will be needed, and 5,000 jobs will be available when it is finished. Although the authorities did not reveal the ending date of the construction, they assured it will be a green industry and will not damage the local heritage.
GL Constructions and Promotions is the company in charge of the construction of the park. During the event, they made a presentation, assuring that the facilities will be constructed in a 200-hectare space where those companies interested in manufacturing their products here will be allowed to have areas longer than 7,600 square meters, “adjusting the spaces to accommodate the company’s needs.” The presenters assured that water supply is guaranteed, and the facility will have its own water treatment plant, as well as an electrical substation and wide green areas. There will be two accesses to the zone. The principal entrance will be through the road to Querétaro, and the secondary access will be from the road to Corral de Piedras. The wide streets will be adapted for handicapped people, and there will be enough space for eighteen-wheeler trucks to maneuver. According to the information provided by GL, the zone is situated “in a location where the companies will be developed in a tranquil, functional, and up-to-date environment with an enviable location rich in natural resources and labor force.”
GL Constructions is renowned in the center of the country for the construction of industrial parks that fulfill the necessary requirements for development of industries. GL is aware that San Miguel has a highly competitive labor force, which makes it the perfect choice to locate a company.
During the event, Trejo highlighted that in the last year, tourism (the main economic activity in the city) had an increase of 12 percent in the state and 20 percent in San Miguel de Allende. He noted that 83 percent of the gross domestic product comes from that industry. He said in addition that San Miguel demands the generation of 1742 jobs yearly, and tourism is only creating 650 positions on an average.
For that reason, Trejo made it clear that this industrial park is the answer to the lack of employment since it will generate 1,500 posts for its construction and 5,000 jobs in the end. Those positions, according to the mayor, will benefit people currently living in extreme poverty in 15 rural communities. He also commented that the work will respect the strictest world ecological regulations, and the citizens “will not see it or hear it; they will only feel it in their pockets.” Trejo did not mention the names, but he assured that currently there are four companies that will open in the zone. The authorities did not reveal the total amount of investment nor the date of the opening of the first company.
“The best offensive to poverty and security is education, but also employment,” said Governor Miguel Márquez. For that reason his administration has a budget of 50 million pesos to invest in the industrial park. “We all want to preserve our culture, traditions, and way of life in order to keep the designation as a World Heritage City,” he noted. This project has been designed with consideration of these factors in good conscience. He agreed with Trejo that tourism is not generating enough employment in the city, so “We need to diversify the economy.”
The park and its connection with the Autopista Bicentenario
During the laying of the project’s first stone, Governor Miguel Márquez Márquez announced that the Autopista Bicentenario will be constructed, regardless of political, economic, or other kinds of interests. A document distributed by GL Constructions points out the proximity and connections of the zone with the main highways within the country, such as the federal road 57, and the proximity to two international airports and ports, such as Puerto Vallarta—situated at 660 kilometers. It also highlights that Mexico City is just three and a half hours away from San Miguel de Allende. On the other hand, Márquez commented that main automotive industries surround San Miguel de Allende, saying that the manufactured products in this zone will be quickly delivered to the United States and the north and south of this country, as well as to the ports, through these roads.
When Márquez was talking about roads, he said that the state government is working with the Secretariat of Communication and Transport on a new drawing that will avoid all the “alleged effects” on the tangible and intangible natural and historical heritage of the Otomí zone. He said that the new drawing, which will be presented in the near future, is very firm and possible for the development of this city. Márquez announced that with the industrial zone, a new road could be constructed in the northeast of the city to divert the traffic flow to the freeway. Mayor Mauricio Trejo showed his support for the freeway.
This year, a study conducted by the UNAM Juriquilla campus found that erionite, a mineral causing lung cancer and eventual death to the inhabitants, is located in the community of Tierra Blanca. Two months ago, those against the construction of the highways requested the state government as well as the Secretariat of Communication and Transport conduct a study to ensure that the erionite has not spread in the area where they want to construct the road. Otherwise, the workers could inhale it, causing a public health problem in the future. Regarding that situation, Márquez said that last month the Secretariat of Public Health conducted a study including 58 inhabitants of Tierra Blanca who could have lung cancer. They just found one case. The Health Department has been instructed to help unconditionally and immediately those patients who present symptoms of lung cancer, Márquez remarked.
The social activists are requesting authorities use drawing one of the eight presented to construct the road. This is the one that causes less impact. Nevertheless, the secretary of Public Works, Arturo Durán, told Atención that the drawing was rejected by the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) because it could impact a paleontological zone.