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Mayor Called Before State Legislature

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 12 January, 2011

(Chilpancingo, JG 12 January) On January 20 the interim mayor of Acapulco, José Luis Ávila Sánchez, will present himself before the state legislature of Guerrero to answer questions related to the “Bicentennial Overpass,” which was inaugurated with much ceremony on November 20 of last year. The overpass provides a four-block long set of through lanes between the tunnel and Parque Papagayo. It is the first of a many-phase urban renewal project, and as it stands, it seems to be an “overpass to nowhere.”

The questions of the legislators touch on three issues: Critics of Añorve have accused the project of generating a good bit of cash for his gubernatorial campaign. Thus, they want to delve into the budget for the project and how it was spent. Second, critics also believe that the timing of the project was purposeful to aid the Añorve campaign. Funds originally committed to other projects were hurriedly diverted to the “Bicentennial Overpass” because of its visibility. Finally, the project was hurried to completion, and since then the roadway has had to undergo repairs, some of which shut down all lanes for many hours. Some legislators suspect that the quality of construction was damaged because of the haste or because of the need to cut corners in order to siphon off money for other purposes.

The mayor has agreed to appear, together with the papers relating to recent audits of the project. The PRD, opposing party to the Añorve campaign, has the votes to impose its will on the legislature, thus explaining the unusual summons. One PRI legislator said that it has the smell of an election tactic, “which stinks.” The PRD politicians say the same thing about the whole “overpass to nowhere” project.