**This report is part of the Northern Border Investigative Journalism , a project of the International Center for Journalists in partnership with the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers**
Translated by Jesús Ronquillo / Circuito Frontera
The largest public park in this border city has been broken down through municipal administrations, that a third of the land has been given in bailment equivalent to 155 soccer fields, without considering invaded spaces and others handed over without official documentation.
At least six administrations of the City Council of Ciudad Juárez have handed over 107 hectares (out of a total of 333.26), which corresponds to more than a third of what was originally the public park El Chamizal, a Mexican national heritage site, through gratuitous bailment.
These actions were carried out without creating an Administrative Council, as established by the federal decree that governs it. According to citizens’ groups and lawyers, these transfers were carried out in an irregular manner and outside of the agreements with the federal government.
Historically, this property was in dispute between the United States and Mexico since 1911 and it was not until 1976, that is, 65 years later, that the restitution of 148,115 hectares to Mexican territory was made official, which were added to the existing 185,165 hectares, completing a total of 333.26 hectares, according to José Luis Hernández Caudillo, historian and member of the group “Juárez de Ayer” (Yesterday’s Juárez).
Because these lands were federal lands and the authorities in charge of regulating them were located in Mexico City, it was decided to divest El Chamizal from the Federation to cede 248.47 hectares to the Municipality of Ciudad Juarez, as published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial De la Federación DOF) on May 18, 1987.
The rest of the hectares, that is, 84.79 hectares, were given to the State and the Federation in the 1978 and 1979 decrees.
This review body should be made up of representatives from the Federal Government, the State Government and the City Council, as well as representatives from different sectors and personalities of the municipality, to help with the administration, protection and improvement of the green areas and public park facilities, according to the document.
Likewise, the sixth article states that if the land is put to a different use, in whole or in part, without the authorization of the Federal Government, the donation will be reverted with all its improvements and accessions.
Through several requests for information, interviews, as well as through the physical verification of the public spaces, this media documented that at least 32 percent of El Chamizal was given in bailments, without this Administrative Council being constituted.
The land given in bailment would be equivalent to some 155 soccer fields, with the regulatory measures, where schools, soccer fields and government offices were built. This figure does not take into account the spaces that have been invaded or handed over without contracts or official documentation.
In this regard, Daniel Delgadillo Díaz, member of the Árboles en Resistencia collective and of the Frente por la Defensa de El Chamizal, denounces that the handing over of these bailments, in addition to being “illegal”, is an attack on the patrimony of the citizens.
“El Chamizal cannot be subdivided. El Chamizal is a single territory. No one has authorized it to be sectioned. The agreement is very clear when it says that any activity has to be approved by the Administrative Council”, he pointed out”.
Lawyers Víctor Reyes Gloria and Luis Benítez agree and assure that based on legality, municipal administrations have violated and omitted what is stipulated in the federal decree.
Víctor Manuel Reyes Gloria, a civil lawyer and writer from Juarez, indicates that the donation contract for El Chamizal is conditional, since two conditions were imposed on the municipality after its delivery: that a Board of Directors be created and that it would not be used for purposes unrelated to its natural vocation as a park.
“The Cabildo granted many bailments and acts without the existence of an Administrative Council. These acts, in my opinion as a lawyer, are legally nonexistent, due to the absence of consent as a requirement for validity”, he said.
For his part, attorney Luis Benítez filed an injunction in the federal courts of this border, due to the illegal use of the land of El Chamizal by the City Hall, according to what is stated in the injunction with the number 357/2021, dated May 11, 2021, which was formally published the following day and in which the Municipality of Ciudad Juárez is being sued for the privatization of public spaces.
“Everything you see there (in El Chamizal), what you see with bars, with padlocks and all that, everything is illegal. That is what we are waiting for a judge to determine”.
During the course of this investigation, the City Council of Ciudad Juarez presented an initiative before the Cabildo for the creation of the Administrative Council, which was voted in November of last year. That is, 34 years later.
In addition, on February 1, municipal president Cruz Pérez Cuéllar announced in a press conference that, after a meeting with the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), María Luisa Albores, they agreed to carry out a “very punctual” review of the geographic limitation of El Chamizal, in order to have an exact map of the zones into which it is divided.
Uncontrolled and unregulated land
Despite the fact that more than 70 percent of El Chamizal is in charge of the municipality (since it owns 248 of the 333 hectares), there is disorganization with respect to the land that is occupied, and the authorities themselves do not know where they have authority and where they do not.
According to the response obtained to the request for information 080155922000003 in the National Transparency Platform, there are at least 25 gratuitous bailment contracts signed by the Municipality of Ciudad Juarez, which are kept in the Legal Department of Secretary of the City council. Although some of the contracts are repeated.
The secretary of the City Council of the 2021-2024 municipal administration, Héctor Rafael Ortiz Orpinel, in an interview with this media, mentioned that they do not know how many contracts were active. He then sent this newspaper, through his assistant, a list of only eight bailment contracts that are active in the area of El Chamizal.
“We are trying to regularize things because, yes, it has been a very complex issue and it seems to me that it has not given certainty for anyone, neither for the Municipality nor for the citizens”, he commented.
On February 2 of this year, the Coordinator of Administration and Control of Special Projects, Adriana Fuentes Téllez, announced to the local media that the municipality has 21 contracts on loan in El Chamizal, which will be reviewed in the coming weeks in conjunction with Semarnat, the agency that will head the investigation.
On March 1, the official held another press conference in which she corrected and affirmed that there are 17 active gratuitous bailment contracts, although she does not know if there could be more.
“There are 17 gratuitous bailment contracts that exist, that we know of to date. There may be more. We have been working on a deep analysis to know in what terms and how El Chamizal really is”, he mentioned.
However, through requests made via transparency, access to contracts by former officials and the Public Registry of Property (RPP), in addition to physical verification, at least 25 occupied spaces were counted, including municipal and state agencies, schools, private parks, a stadium, soccer clubs and public squares, among others.
The Director of Government, Pedro Martinez Chairez states that they are compiling the information, although he indicates that they do not know which are the areas that the City Council of Ciudad Juarez is responsible for regulating, since they do not have a map that defines the limits.
The Juarez historian and former councilman of the City Council during the 2007-2010 administration, José Mario Sánchez Soledad mentioned that this problem has been going on for decades, a situation that has never been regularized by the Municipality of Juárez.
He indicated that, according to the maps found in the Public Registry of Property on the land of El Chamizal, there are federal and state properties that are used by the City Hall as municipal offices, in addition to others that were given on gratuitous bailment without any interference in them.
“Not everything is parkland. According to their original occupancy, there are other uses that are not parks and were not donated to the City Hall, but that was left in ‘limbo’. It was left in limbo in quotation marks because they are registered in the Federal Public Registry”.
He explained that, as a historian and while he was a public official, he dedicated several years to the study of El Chamizal, and found many irregularities that so far have not been clarified.
“I have already made a ‘tracing’ of the current uses and the original map. You can see where there are many illegal possessions because they do not correspond (to the Municipality)”.
Chamizal Administration Commission
Even though the federal decree of 1987 determines that “El Chamizal is an important area from the ecological point of view in the border zone, in addition to the historical, cultural, social and political value it represents for the country,” different administrations have handed out bailment agreements on many occasions, ignoring the creation of an Administrative Council.
Just at the end of last year, Councilman Jorge Gutiérrez Casas presented the initiative for the creation of this Council, which was approved by the Cabildo in ordinary session number five of the 2021-2024 administration, and in which 90 days were granted for the creation of said body.
The councilman commented that this action has the purpose of “giving legal certainty” to the lands of El Chamizal and that everything becomes municipal property, since there are parts that still belong to the Federation, others that belong to the Municipality and a minimal part that still belongs to the State.
According to the official notice REG/ADA/056/2021, obtained from the transparency page of the Municipality, the Council will be integrated by a representative of Semarnat, CILA, SEDATU, on behalf of the Federation; of SEDUE and JMAS, on behalf of the State Government and on behalf of the Municipality the municipal president, the City Hall Secretary, the Ecology Department, the Urban Development Department, the Public Services Department and a councilor.
A representative of BECC and IMIP will also be invited from other sectors. All of the above with the right to speak and vote.
On the part of civil society, people with knowledge related to El Chamizal may participate; however, they will only have the right to speak, but not to vote in the Council’s decisions.
Gutiérrez Casas, who will be in charge of the Council on behalf of the City Councilors, notes that they are currently in the process of drafting the Regulations (approved by the City Council on December 16).
Also, they will propose the creation of a Trust Fund for El Chamizal, with the intention of renting the land of the public park to the owners and thus acquire resources. Although he assured that there is no “profit” purpose, but that the resources will be destined to the maintenance of the space.
“I insist on the part of maintenance and on the part of a rent for the use of the public space and that this rent will go directly to a Trust that will help in the maintenance of the green areas. There is no profit purpose, but, at the end of the day, it is the question of maintenance”.
The alderman and member of the Public Works Commission, Joob Quintín Flores Silva, says that they are making sure that El Chamizal is respected, talking about its surfaces, and that what is already on loan is maintained, but that no more land is taken away from the park.
A few months ago, according to local media, Flores Silva spoke out against some of the works inside El Chamizal, such as Plaza de la Mexicanidad and the sculpture of the “X” by the artist Sebastián, as he considered that public spaces were being “privatized”, since these sites are fenced and even kept padlocked.
In this regard, he states that spaces should not be privatized, in addition to the fact that there are irregular bailments such as “the case of the DIF, the soccer stadium (of the UACJ) and some other areas”, even the municipal presidency itself is part of El Chamizal.
Donations and bailments, with and without contracts from the Municipality
Based on the information of the request number 080155922000003 of Transparency, since 1992 a space of 2 thousand 116 square meters is in gratuitous bailment with Sedesol, for the realization of a Center of collection and recovery of wild species.
Three years later, the association “Fútbol Rápido de Ciudad Juárez A.C.”, received 14 thousand 491 square meters in gratuitous loan, without any contract (since there is no document to support it).
In 1995, the Softball Board of Ciudad Juarez (Cheramis) received 6,810 m2 as a gratuitous loan for a period of 15 years, although to date they continue to occupy that space.
Since 1998, the Asociación de Hoteles y Moteles de Ciudad Juárez has had an indefinite contract for the operation of a tourist information center on an area of 2,810 m2.
In 2001, the municipal DIF appropriated 35,412 m2 for the development of recreational areas, children’s playgrounds, and rehabilitation of green areas for the exclusive use of families, without any contract. This, according to historian José Mario Sánchez Soledad.
In the same year, the Salón de la Fama del Deportista Juarense, the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores Municipales and the Escuela de Futbol Astros received 2,980 m2 , 32,498 m2 and 35,517 m2 , respectively. While the Latin Soccer League received 13,503 m2 in 2002, according to information obtained through transparency.
The area of El Chamizal is considered an important region to date, due to its proximity to two of the three international bridges bordering El Paso, Texas.
Luis Mario Baeza Cano, former president of the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry (Camara Mexicana de la Industria de la Construcción CMIC), referred that the value of the land near El Chamizal has to do with the type of constructions and the land registry value used for the payment of taxes.
He explained that, according to the information handled by the Municipality’s land registry Office, the cost per square meter in the area of El Chamizal is 600 pesos. Although there are also spaces that have been marketed between 80 and 100 dollars per square meter, that is, between 1,600 and 2,000 pesos, depending on how close they are to the bridges.
Currently, the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) is the owner of a 20.83 hectare territory, after the land was donated to it through two contracts.
The first one dates back to 2004, when the then municipal president Héctor Murguía Lardizábal executed before the Notary Public #10, Enrique Córdova Reyes, a contract for the free transfer of 192,834 square meters in favor of the university, and the value of the property is 92 million 560,602 pesos, according to book 4224 folio 67 of the Public Registry of Property.
The integrated folder presents a testimony of the public deed with the number 14677, where it is indicated that the donation of the land of the university was made through the municipal president and the rector of the UACJ, at that time, Dr. Felipe Francisco Fornelli Lafón.
However, this space was already occupied since the mid 80’s, the year in which this territory of El Chamizal was taken for the construction of the university, without any document, according to the Juarez historian José Hernández Caudillo.
In addition, another space of 38,000 square meters was also given to the UACJ, where the “Benito Juárez” Olympic Stadium is currently under construction, according to the version published on the UACJ’s digital page.
Originally, the land was granted free of charge to the State Government for the construction of a sports stadium, according to the federal decree published in 1979. However, in 1986 it was given as a gratuitous bailment to the university.
The space currently belongs “officially” to the UACJ, which is shared with the first division soccer team “Los Bravos”, since this is where the games are played and where tickets are sold, as could be verified.
However, as indicated by José Mario Sánchez Soledad, the UACJ also owns a 1.64 hectare plot of land, which is located next to the Municipal DIF and where the Olympic swimming pool is located.
Although these spaces are physically located in the area of El Chamizal, no document was found to explain their origin.
COBACH and the conflict with “Titanes”
What was formerly known as the El Chamizal high school, now the 19th campus of the Colegio de Bachilleres (Cobach), located on Universidad Avenue at the intersection with Rafael Pérez Serna Street, right next to ICSA of the UACJ, also occupies land that is considered a public park.
File CM-030/2021 indicated that, according to the Property Identification Certificates of the Public Registry of Property, the school is located within what is part of the 248 hectares of the public park El Chamizal.
The document refers that a request for a gratuitous bailment was made by the 19th campus of the educational institution for the use of three plots of land: one of 38,169 m2, another of 493 m2 and another of 10,000 m2, which total 48,663 m2. The request was unanimously approved by the City Council on August 27, 2021, for the development of the “Cobach Sports City”.
Enrique Torres Valadez, alderman of the 2021-2024 administration and who served in this same position from 2018-2021, exposed that the land where the Cobach was located was municipal, as well as the need to remove the Titanes soccer club from a space in El Chamizal, to use it for the construction of the Exhibition Center.
“They were offered the alternative of changing their space to an area that is located next to the municipal tennis courts, in the area of El Chamizal and very close to Cobach 19”.
Nevertheless, Cobach also had another space of 31,706 m2, of which 20,000 m2 were “snatched” to give them to the sports club “Titanes”, according to the file CM-004/2021.
Eduardo Limón Alonso, then director of the North Zone High School campuses, said that this modification of the gratuitous bailment of those lands meant a loss for the student community, since that space was used as the high school’s baseball field.
“There is a gratuitous bailment that dates back more than 50 years, in which the Federal Government assigned those lands to the “El Chamizal” high school. The Municipality claimed that those lands were their property and that we had possession of them”.
The resolution of the City Council concluded then that, of that land, 20,000 m2 would be given to the Titanes League and 11,000 m2 would remain for campus 19.
Limón Alonso indicated that this situation represented a loss of some 2 million pesos, since the baseball field had contributions from parents, private companies and the school itself.
The contract CM-005/2021, obtained through the request 080155921000465 via Transparency, which is in force for Club Titanes Juárez A.C., stipulates that it authorizes the gratuitous loan of a municipal land of “public domain” located in El Chamizal Park, with an area of 31,706 m2 for the development of a soccer field.
Privatization of public space
Elián Coral Moreno Sánchez, PhD in Urbanism and professor-researcher at the UACJ, considered that El Chamizal has been privatized.
“It is supposed to be a federal park. It only has a plaque at the entrance, but it is no longer public. The same with the DIF facilities, it is no longer public. There is very little that is public, in addition to this, it is a hydrographic region. There are wells. The latest research suggests that very soon it is going to ‘botar’ (burst) if this hydrological region of El Chamizal is not moderated”, she asserted.
The specialist, in her article “Transboundary open public space. Comparative analysis of the area corresponding to the territory of El Chamizal Park in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua-El Paso, Texas”, presents a map showing the current use of the land of El Chamizal.
It refers that the land of El Chamizal has been divided, as it currently houses the facilities of the now defunct El Chamizal High School (Colegio de Bachilleres plantel 19), ICSA of the UACJ, the Archaeology Museum, the Visitors and Convention Bureau of Ciudad Juárez and the Tourist Information Center, as well as parking lots.
There is also the Directorate of Parks and Gardens, the sports unit, the aquatic center of Integral Family Development (AQUADIF), the DIF park, the offices of the Public Transportation Directorate, the facilities of the International Boundary and Water Commission (CILA), the Juan Gabriel Polyphoric, the Olympic swimming pool, shooting ranges and a stadium belonging to the UACJ.
In the case of the DIF, historian José Mario Sánchez Soledad also noted that 1.64 hectares were donated to the Municipality without a contract.
The urban planner mentioned that, in addition, by 2005 the Extreme Park and the Mega Flag were inaugurated, as well as from 2013 the mega sculpture of the “X” was built within a closed circuit called the Plaza de la Mexicanidad, with a dimension of 42 thousand m2, apparently owned by the Municipality, for which there is no contract.
In her article, the urban planner pointed out that, currently, and after the indifference shown by federal, state and municipal administrations, a little more than four decades after the re-incorporation of El Chamizal, a general design or a Master Plan for this area has never been drawn up.
In this area is also located the Municipal Road School, a site that belongs to the Road Safety Coordination, however, its total territory is unknown, since there is no document that supports its construction in that place or the date when it began operations.
In addition, in compliance with the information gathered, the Municipality maintains a bailment in force on a space of 4 thousand 324 m2 for the Museum of Archaeology, documented in the act SA/GOB/087/2018.
Also with the association USMC Strategic Alliance, according to the act SA/GOB/334/2019, where a land of 9 thousand 612 m2 is ceded for the construction of a community center, which to date has not materialized. This land is known as “El Punto”, an area where Pope Francis celebrated a binational mass on February 17, 2016.
This could be the only contract celebrated in a “legal” manner, recognized by the Federation through the Institute of Administration and Appraisal of National Assets (INDAABIN), according to the request with the folio number 33001632100011 presented in the National Transparency Platform.
The administration of former president Armando Cabada Alvídrez delivered during 2019, to the association of Motoclubs Unidos de Juárez, A.C. 14 thousand 777.069 m2, according to the act JUR/CM/005/2019. As well as 19 thousand 794.515 m2 to Club Río Bravo Softball Sport Park A.C., according to act JUR/CM/005/2021.
Likewise, the Junta Municipal de Agua y Saneamiento maintains active two contracts for the operation of well 5-R and well 17-R, with the dimensions of 2 thousand 856,230 and 688,100 m2, respectively, documented in minutes JUR/CM/13/2021 and JUR/CM/15/2021.
The urban planner reiterated that the privatization of the public space has meant a loss for the community and not only in terms of square meters, since it is “a total plundering of the land of El Chamizal for the sake of almost personal interests”.
Activists and members of the collective “Frente por la Defensa de El Chamizal” (Front for the Defense of El Chamizal) have pointed out on several occasions the irregularities with which the City Council of Ciudad Juarez operates in the delivery of bailments, as they refer that there is a favoring of interests in favor of the business sector.
“The city not only lacks parks, but the few we have, such as El Chamizal, are becoming smaller and smaller, and are being privatized for the benefit of investors who will only put in infrastructure, but who will not be charged”, said Carlos Murillo Gonzalez, sociologist, master in Social Sciences and member of the Front.
Such is the case of the loan for the construction of the Convention and Visitors Center, operated by the Paso del Norte Trust, which includes members of the Business Coordinating Council.
Within the first stage of the project, the investment of more than 250 million pesos is contemplated, with resources mainly from the Federation, but also from the Municipality and the State, in addition to the Private Initiative, according to Francisco Moreno Villafuerte, general director of the National Chamber of Commerce (Camara Nacional de Comercio CANACO) and advisor of the Convention and Visitors Center.
He stated that there is a legal document for the use of El Chamizal as an “exhibition” area, where the Juarez Fair was previously held in that area of El Chamizal.
Although the Convention Center site will be located in “El Hoyo” (space below street level), where the tourism land use applies, since it is a fairground that attracts cities, as he explained.
The gratuitous bailment contract granted by the Municipality for this work is documented in the official document of the Government Office SA/GOB/446/2021, which indicates that the legal entity “Exposiciones y Convenciones de Juárez AC” receives a 71,848.522 m2 plot of land for an undetermined time, according to the request for information with the number 080155921000045.
The interviewee commented that this project will be of great benefit to the community of Juarez, due to the economic benefit it will bring to the locality, as well as the free activities for the families.
“It is true that the site has, in the first instance, a private vision, but there is also a lot of development for Ciudad Juarez. It is part of El Chamizal, but there are very few trees and the project we have is going to reforest with more than 500 trees,” added Moreno Villafuerte.
Rogelio Ramos Guevara, president of CANACO in Ciudad Juarez and member of the CCE, indicated that there was some opposition from environmentalists and from Cobach for the donation of the land, although in the end it was approved by the Cabildo.
“If the Municipality gave it to us on gratuitous bailment it is for a reason. The secretary of the City Council was attentive to all the clauses of the contract and I don’t think that they, as lawyers, made a mistake”.
However, other members of the same Trust have stated that the project is being kept “in secret”, as they have not been informed about the progress or consulted about the decisions that will be made.
Jesús Manuel Salayandía Lara, president of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (CANACINTRA), which is part of the Paso del Norte Trust, pointed out that the construction of a Convention Center has been announced a lot, but it only remains in projects and the laying of “first stones”.
“To be honest, as CANACINTRA we are unaware of all the issues behind it. They have presented what the architectural project would be, but from the point of view of what is the execution plan, what is going to be the progress between now and April and then the second progress from April to September, nothing has been presented to us. Nor do we know who the contractors are or how much it is going to cost”.
Regarding this property, after the meeting between municipal authorities and the Semarnat delegate, the mayor announced that the works and projects that were contemplated in this area of El Chamizal would be suspended until further notice, among them, the Convention Center.
FC Bravos and public official benefited
Businesswoman Alejandra De la Vega Arizpe, one of the heirs of the Del Río commercial chain and owner of the Bravos first division soccer team, held a public position when the Ciudad Juárez City Council, headed by Armando Cabada Alvídrez as municipal president, gave her two pieces of land on loan.
One of 229 thousand 56 m2 and the other of 15 thousand 89 m2. The second, shared with the Instituto Municipal de la Juventud, according to the official notice of the Dirección de Gobierno SA/GOB/2256/2019, obtained through Transparencia.
One of the spaces was taken from the Ciudad Juarez Soccer Veterans Club, according to the version of Arcadio Serrano Garcia, representative of the civil association.
The also former director of Public Works, during the 2004-2007 administration, explained that the bailment was given to them during the time of the then municipal mayor, Francisco Villarreal Torres (1992-1995 administration).
Serrano García revealed that the former president Armando Cabada Alvídrez “took away” the gratuitous bailment of the total space, due to the “compadrazgo” that exists between him and one of the main partners of Bravos, Arturo Muñoz, as well as pressuring them to vacate the place.
The director of the Veterans Club even accused Alejandra De la Vega Arizpe (at that time representative of the State Governor, Javier Corral Jurado) of “taking away” the water service for the irrigation of the fields.
“Now (the municipality) wants to charge us 700,000 pesos in property taxes, but it is municipal land. In other words, how can they want to charge a property tax on municipal land? That’s the way things are going and Los Bravos want the fields”.
During the last administration, during the 53rd Cabildo session of the Ciudad Juarez City Council, the two aforementioned fields were given to the Bravos team on gratuitous loan.
In that session, the mayor in office (Armando Cabada Alvídrez), declared that this was not a simple agreement or relationship with “any institution”, since “Juarez businessmen risked at least 20 million dollars to have a first division team”.
“It is not just any institution with whom we are agreeing to this. They are committing to provide 500 scholarships for low-income children and to repair two synthetic grass fields, to repair the building. So let’s be serious about this. We are not talking about agreeing with just any institution, but to agree with someone who has brought prestige to the city. Just like that”, he said.
For FC Bravos S. de R. L. de Capital Variable, an attempt was made to contact the owner of the team, Alejandra De la Vega Arizpe, however, she did not respond to requests for an interview.
Regarding the delivery of the scholarships, Adriana Fuentes Téllez, head of the Coordination of Special Projects of the Municipality of the present administration, emphasized that they are working on a review of all the contracts.
“I don’t know if they (the scholarships) were delivered or not. A thorough investigation is being carried out right now because the Secretary of the Environment (María Luisa Albores, head of SEMARNAT) is here. We are looking into why some of the bailments are in force and others are not. We are reviewing everything and each piece of land is different for the use they were given”, she said.
Far from regularization
Members of the Frente en Defensa de El Chamizal, lawyers, urban planners, historians and former officials, including active officials, interviewed for this report agreed that there was a lack of organization in the delivery of the bailments of El Chamizal, since not only were many of the projects for the improvement of the public space postponed, but they were also sectorized.
“The Federation has the last word, not even the Cabildo. It is a federal public park, that is how it is constituted and the City Council must abide by (the decree). The Cabildo has taken this figure of ‘I am going to divide up the space of El Chamizal’ when it is not really theirs, it is federal”, condemned urban planner Elian Coral Moreno Sánchez.
Meanwhile, lawyer Luis Benitez, indicated that projects have been carried out to take advantage of El Chamizal and they are not concluded, as happened in the case of the “Mega-park El Chamizal”, in which an investment of more than 2,100 million pesos was contemplated and was never implemented.
Daniel Delgadillo Díaz, member of the Front for the Defense of El Chamizal, has stated on several occasions that the City of Ciudad Juárez favored the business community.
Through this investigation it was also detected that the last municipal administration, headed by Armando Cabada Alvídrez, was the one that handed out the most contracts in bailments of El Chamizal.
“What is required is an order from the tenancy. As long as the park’s tenancy is not ordered, the problem will continue to exist”, concluded historian José Mario Sánchez Soledad.
Illustration: Carlos Mendoza
Video and edition: Luis H. Cardona