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Acapulco Convention Center Belongs to the Navy

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 15 April, 2011

(Acapulco, El Sur 15 April) Last November, Guerrero Governor Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo was informed that the Acapulco Convention Center (also called “International Center of Acapulco”) had been taken over as property of the federal government and that the Mexican Navy would be the new occupant. The governor was informed, as the property had been operated by the State of Guerrero, though it appears to have been owned by the Bank of Mexico.

Acapulco’s interim mayor (Ávila Sánchez) and then candidate for governor, Añorve Baños, were not made aware of the change.

On January 13 of this year, the Secretary of the Navy, on behalf of the President of the Republic, gave formal notice to Governor Torreblanca of the change in use and ownership. The governor continued to maintain secrecy about the decision.

The decision of Gloria Guevara to move the Tianguis Turístico from Acapulco is now believed to have been motivated in part by the knowledge that the Convention Center would soon become a command base for the Navy.

The widely told and believed version of the story was that a private company had acquired a 99-year lease of the premises and was planning to remodel the area and turn it into a more active center for recreational life, culture, and, naturally, shopping. This was essentially a convenient lie to cover up the real intentions of the government. In December of last year, after having been informed of the federal government’s decision, Governor Torreblanca told a public audience that a private group, Bancomer’s subsidiary for Congresses and Expositions, would take over the property.

The Navy plans to use the area as a command center in the struggle against drug trafficking and organized crime. No date has been set for the commencement of construction or occupancy. The official notice recites the “lamentable outbreak of extreme violence in this port, which is so important to the country – violence that will surely redound in other areas, such as tourism and our country’s economy.” The author of the statement, Admiral Saynez Mendoza, clearly an accomplished drafter of military bureaucratese, added that this violence “has created the imminent need to unite forces among the three orders of government to define approaches that can most conveniently be put into effect, using this real estate, so that we can most effectively comply with our duties and functions, given that the establishment of a Command and Control Center and related infrastructure is fully justified.”