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San Miguel de Allende, 2015 Expectations, first part

By Jesús Aguado

The year that just began could mark the beginning of the construction of one of the most ambitious centers for arts in the city, unique in the Americas, with an investment of 240 million pesos.

The New Year will also feature a mayoral race in which some political and social personalities are preparing to participate. San Miguel Mayor Mauricio Trejo is not discarding his aspirations for another popular elected post, and former Mayor Luz María Núñez Flores, who owns a local TV station, announced that Contrastes, a political criticism show will return in January, to be broadcasted not just on TV channel 4, but also on the local AM and FM radio station, Radio San Miguel.

Sanmiguelenses involved in festivals, mass media, pursuit of justice, and local administration, talked to Atención about how they finished the year and how they plan to start 2015.

Mauricio Trejo, a mayor unsatisfied with the results who “has the right to vote and to be voted for”

Mayor Mauricio Trejo commented that 2014 was a year that marked the economic recovery in San Miguel, assuring that the municipality occupied the first position nationally in touristic growth as well as in gross revenue. San Miguel, he said, is a city where the average tourist visit was 1.2 nights in 2012, and in 2014 it grew to 2.2 nights. He also talked about the achievement of bringing weekday tourism through the Convention Center. He highlighted the placing of the first stone for the Industrial Park on the road to Querétaro, where the first company building (Stan Inc.) is being constructed with an investment of 110 million pesos. Trejo remarked on the construction of roads and bridges in rural communities as well as the support to schools during this year. He said that he ended the year “happy, but not satisfied because not everything is perfect.”

For 2015, Mayor Trejo acknowledged that the local administration will face an intense and difficult electoral process. He remarked that it will be a challenge for the city council and the cabinet, which will not lose the main goal, for changing the government is just four months of the process. Trejo commented that in the next nine months of this administration he will keep promoting San Miguel de Allende to attract tourism. He also said that more public works will be done in marginalized neighborhoods and rural communities, and he highlighted that the budget for security will be 70 million. Finally, with the financial support of the SECTUR (Federal Secretariat of Tourism), he hopes to accomplish the improvement of the salida a Querétaro with an investment of 60 million pesos before the end of his administration. Trejo also said that he expects that the winner of the mayoral race will find a San Miguel united and not fragmented as he found it in October 10, 2012, after Núñez’s administration. He also wants to hand over a city positioned across the world. Whoever will occupy the presidency this year will have the challenge “of improving what we did well and will have enough time to perfect what we did wrong.” Trejo did not discard the possibility of contending for a new popular election post and remarked “like any other citizen, I have the right to vote and to be voted for.”

Luz María Núñez: “I am not an activist but a social meddler”

Luz María Núñez, San Miguel’s previous mayor from 2009-2012, owns channel 4, an open television channel. She assures that always when a new year begins, it renews the hope and the ideas that need to be strengthened. The former mayor said that she was very happy because the content of the channel will be enriched and will also include more general interest programs for the public—in Spanish. She also announced that in January Contrastes will return. The program is focused in criticizing public topics from several perspectives to inspire debates among the population so that they will be informed and socially conscious. The program features special guests involved in the federal, state, and local public life. “It will be a complicated year,” commented Núñez, making specific reference to the electoral year, and said in addition that the current administration has not been the best because its results are “shameful, and once they´re gone, we will see the damage that they did.” Núñez remarked that San Miguel is a town of tradition and Sanmiguelenses “deserve peace, respect, social development, and not insults. We need something finer,” she charged. Núñez also made it clear that if in the next election, the parties offer her the possibility of an elected post, or the winner offers her a post in the local administration, she would analyze the proposals and would decide where she could be more useful because, “I do not consider myself an activist but a social meddler, and I still believe that the citizens’ participation is important.” Finally, she charged that if in San Miguel we want to recover the path, then the citizens need to generate public policies.

René Urrutia, “…at the Ministerio Público the communication will remain open, optimistic, participative, and frank.

San Miguel district Attorney René Urrutia de la Vega expressed that that governmental agency that pursues justice closes the year with great enthusiasm, accomplishing goals, although not with total satisfaction or an accomplished mission because the results can be perfected. For this reason, this year his office will do better investigative work to give better results in combating crime and impunity. Although from his perspective, they have provided a warm and welcoming treatment to the citizens, Urrutia allowed that there have been major expectations of better treatment. He also said that his group will improve communication with the different governmental levels.

During the year that just ended, said the subprocurador, the index of crime in region D was not in first place in the state or in the country, and they will try to improve that this year. The communication, not just with the national community, but also with expats, will continue to be open, frank, and participative, he commented. Urrutia said in addition that the differences of culture and languages in San Miguel make the pursuit of justice more interesting.

Sara Hoch, the GIFF Factory; there is no other space like this in the Americas

Hoch, director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival commented that the festival is planned two years in advance, and for this year, the guest country will be Turkey, featuring: food, music, films, and a great environment. In 2014 more than 125 thousand people attended the festival in San Miguel and Guanajuato, cities that were covered nationally and internationally by the mass media (for free); the cost was valued at 964 million pesos.

Last month with the help of the state government, the executive project of the GIFF Factory was finally completed. The GIFF Factory will be a structure on the road to Querétaro with a cost of 240 million pesos. It will be a space incubator for film projects and for production and postproduction of the same projects. The space will be unique in the Americas, and besides that it will provide a venue for all the festivals in the city. Hoch commented that the project will have private and public investment. She said that the construction will start this year, and after two years of work, it could be finished in 2018.

Klaudia Óliver, more calacas and Spencer Tunick

The director of La Calaca Festival told Atención that this year they will focus their energy to strengthen the projects that succeeded last year, like The Pyramid of Dead—which took place at Juárez Park and integrated not just the local artisans, but also the foreign and national community. There will be more Mexican rock in the park, she said, because the concert with the band La Gusana Ciega was very successful, attracting young students to a pacifist event. For this year, the festival will also feature for the second year in a row photographer Spencer Tunick whose works project San Miguel worldwide.

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