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State Congress Rejects Mayor’s Extension Request

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 19 January, 2011

(Chilpancingo, JG 18 January). The interim mayor of Acapulco, José Luis Ávila Sánchez, requested the state legislature to grant him an extension in their summons to appear tomorrow before the Committee on Government. The committee had issued to summons because of suspicions concerning the financing and construction of the “Bicentennial Overpass,” a public work that has figured prominently in the political campaign of Manuel Añorve Baños for governor.

The chairman of the committee, Faustino Soto Ramos, told the press that last Friday the mayor had requested an extension of time to appear, stating that he was attending top level meetings in Mexico City on January 20th. The legislature said the request was denied, as they reviewed the mayor’s schedule and determined that this was not true, that he had no previous commitments with “top level” officials in Mexico City. For that reason, the request was denied.

Soto Ramos added that the mayor had not yet provided any of the information requested from him. He rejected the idea that it was rude for the Committee to summon a mayor before it, even though this is the first time such a thing has been tried. The legislator said that we were talking about a debt of over a billion pesos, equal to half the maximum permitted annual budget for the municipality. “And then you add to it an investment in an overpass which, if you compare it with one built by the previous administration, it is twice as expensive and has smaller dimensions.”

The PRI legislators consider the move to be politically motivated, designed to embarrass the Añorve campaign on the eve of the election. The PRD legislators deny it. It is not known whether the mayor will honor the summons or simply fail to appear. As this is a unique request, no precedent exists for what would happen if the mayor failed to show. PRI legislator Héctor Vicario Castrejón said that the maneuver is illegal, and that the mayor should feel free to show up whenever it is convenient for him.

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