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Navy Confirms Seismic Research Facility at Convention Center

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 22 April, 2011

(Acapulco, AN 22 April) The commanding officer of the Eighth Naval Region, based in Acapulco, Sergio Javier Lara Montellano, made a statement to the press yesterday concerning the future of the Acapulco International Convention Center. He confirmed that the intended use of the property would be for an earthquake and tidal wave research and warning facility, and that this would not require the entire 34 acres of the property. He also added that the Navy would not be breaking ground on any such facility this year, as there are no funds in this year's budget.

The Convention Center has been the focus of controversy during the last two weeks. Last year, then-governor Torreblanca had said that Guerrero State had granted a 30-year concession to a private firm to operate it as an exhibition center. In January the Navy confirmed in writing to the governor that the property belonged to the federal government, and that the Navy would use is as a command center in the fight against drug trafficking. This document was made public just two weeks ago. Locals reacted to the revelation with loud protests. Earlier this week, State Secretary of Tourism Graciela Báez Ricárdez said that the Navy would not occupy the whole property, and that its use would be for research and early warning concerning natural disasters. She said the various uses, including that of tourism, could be easily harmonized. Admiral Lara’s statement yesterday is consistent with the impressions that Ms. Báez shared with the press. He said that there is no need for the Navy to build a command center, as “we already have facilities for such activities.”

When the admiral was asked if the property could also accommodate the objectives of CAABSA, the private sector group planning to make an investment there, he said, “I have no opinion about that.”