After new Mexico City airport is canceled, López Obrador rushes to reassure finance capital
8 November 2018
On October 29, Mexico’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), announced that the incoming administration would cancel a massive new airport in Mexico City after the proposal was rejected in a referendum involving a small fraction of eligible voters. The announcement provoked a wave of indignation from domestic and foreign investors, who have already completed about one third of the US$13 billion project and have widely speculated on properties surrounding the new airport.
The New International Airport for Mexico City (NAICM) would have been the largest public infrastructure project in Mexico in a century and was set to replace the capital’s current international airport, the busiest in Latin America. By the final stages of the project in 2065, the airport was set to have a capacity of 125 million passengers annually, making it the second largest airport in the world by today’s standards.
AMLO made canceling the project one of the key promises of his presidential campaign. About 2 percent of voters nationwide cast ballots in the airport vote, most of them from municipalities that voted for his party, the Movement for National Regeneration (Morena), in the July 1 national elections. Media reports alleged that polling places were staffed by former Morena campaign volunteers and that there were no checks to prevent individuals from voting multiple times.
There is undoubtedly real social opposition to the NAICM. To the masses, the new airport exemplifies the corruption and criminality of the ruling class. The airport’s designer was the son-in-law of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the seventh richest person in the world,…