Ricardo Villarreal’s First Government Report
By Jesús Aguado
On Thursday, September 22, at the Jardín Principal, Mayor Ricardo Villarreal gave his first government report. In an interview with Atención, he said that he is happy and satisfied with the results during his administration, and that is the reason why he will keep working with all his capability to regenerate the fabric of society and to eradicate the social inequality that exists in the city, which has dragged too many people to get involved in illegal activities that at the same time generate insecurity.
With the actions that were, are, and will be performed, the economy of San Miguel benefits, bringing social and economic development for those sanmiguelenses who live in unequal conditions. “The most important is the rendering of accounts. People ought to know where their money is,” said Villarreal. He assured that during his administration—which began on October 10 last year—his government has built and done more with the same amount of money than other administrations.
He said that it is important to construct the San Miguel that we deserve, more inclusive and with more opportunities, and that will be possible with education. Villarreal stated that one of every two Sanmiguelenses is poor, and that has to come to an end with education. He commented that every Monday he visits a school in order to know what the necessities are, and that is how more than 100 schools have improved their facilities with the help of the parents. The support from the local administration ranges from one wall that provides security to the students to the construction of bathrooms. Primary and secondary schools received essential classroom supplies for 43 thousand students as well as a pair of shoes for each one. Mayor Villarreal assured that he personally interviewed each of the 120 students who received scholarships from private universities in the city. “That guarantees that only the best and those who really needed them received the scholarships.” According to Villarreal, 42 percent of adult Sanmiguelenses did not finish their primary or secondary education, and that has to change. That is why the Preparatory CECYTEG in los Rodríguez received its deeds and now the state government is investing 10 million pesos in the facilities. The UTSMA will also receive its deeds, which will allow the school to receive funds from the public budget.
A four-hectare plot of land on the road to Querétaro was given to the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and that will enable the school to build a campus in this city. In addition, the administrative offices of that school, situated on Mesones, would leave the space to the local administration for use as workshops.
Tourism, economic development and mobility
According to Ricardo Villarreal, 80 percent of the economy in San Miguel depends on tourism and services, and this year, he assured, the revenue will be close to 4,800 million pesos from the touristic sector. At the end of the year, according to the statistics the number of visitors to the city will be more than 1,600,000.
For that reason, the mayor said that more touristic infrastructure is needed. He announced the arrival of Hotel Live Aqua, which will invest more than 900 million pesos at the old hotel construction in El Obraje. The construction will generate 300 direct jobs in its progress and 100 in the end. It will be a deluxe hotel with 110 rooms.
To improve the economy of the residents of San Miguel, five billion pesos are being invested, at the Industrial Zone, where 600 Sanmiguelenses are currently working. According to Villarreal, that guarantees more employment in the near future.
On the topic of tourism and mobility, Villarreal also mentioned the construction of two new lanes on the Boulevard de la Conspiración, improvement of Libramiento Manuel Zavala, and the expansion from Glorieta El Pípila to el Malanquín from two to four lanes. Villarreal mentioned that in the weeks to come, more than 24 million pesos will be invested in the construction of the fourth lane from Puente Bicentenario to salida a Dolores. A traffic circle will be constructed in front of las Ventanas for nine million pesos.
Mayor Ricardo Villarreal talked about improving the entrance of calzada de la Estación, which will shelter the train museum and an exhibition center with arts and crafts made in San Miguel.
Social development and public spaces
During Villarreal’s administration more than 10,000 people were helped to have wells and potable water, solar cells, and electricity as an improvement to their homes. “We have handed over more than 600 solar boilers, solar cells, ceilings, and floors to improve the quality of life of those most in need.” In the weeks to come, said Villarreal, a social program will be launched with an investment of 80 million pesos to help more families to overcome poverty.
Mayor Villarreal announced that the name of Boulevard de la Conspiración will change to Paseo de los Conspiradores, and it will be a public space during Sunday morning. Two lanes entering San Miguel will be closed so families can enjoy the area and the cultural and sport events that will be featured. Six new public spaces will be constructed at Landeta, colonia Azteca, colonia Los Ángeles, Jardines, and Pedro Moreno. Also, four million pesos are being invested to finish the construction of the acoustic shell where events for more than 4,000 people will be held.
Villarreal assured that his government has achieved a lot. First he said, they cleaned house and opened the doors to operatives from federal and state corporations who detected that some police and traffic officers were not just involved in house robberies, but also in sale of drugs and even murders. They were fired. New police officers are now being trained at the local academy.
Seven pawnshops were closed because they were working illegally and it was sure, said Villarreal, “they were selling the stolen objects from the house robberies.” Seven bars where drugs were sold and prostitution was a constant also were closed.
Mayor Villarreal commented that the state crimes have decreased: house robberies, down 47 percent; assaults, down 64 percent, theft of vehicles, down 51 percent, and 38 percent of the theft of livestock down. “The official statistics confirm that we are winning the battle against crime,” he observed.
Finally, Villarreal acknowledged that there is a big problem of consumption and sale of drugs in this city. He said “without taking away my responsibility, that is not a task of the municipality. The District Attorney’s office and the federation need to conduct investigations. Our numbers on arresting people for possession of guns have increased 275 percent and numbers arrested for possession of drugs have also gone up.
“Insecurity is the fault of all the system, and impunity above all else; 97 percent of the crimes are not resolved.”
“We have arrested more people with guns and drugs that in previous years, and those are the results.”
Currently, more than Sanmiguelenses are working at the Industrial Park, more companies are under construction with an investment of five billion pesos, and that will bring more employment to the city.”