Criticized by President, Mexico auditor backtracks on airport cancellation cost By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Flooding, birds, trees: Mexico City’s Texcoco lake reclaims scrapped airport


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Federal Audit Office (ASF) retracted a report that found President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s decision to cancel a partly built airport in Mexico City had cost 332 billion pesos ($16 billion), hours after the president denounced its findings.

In a statement published late on Monday the ASF said it had ordered a review into its report after finding “inconsistencies”. Its figure for the cost of cancelling the airport had been too high, due to a flaw in methodology, it said.

Lopez Obrador has defended his 2018 decision to cancel the airport, his predecessor’s flagship project. In 2019, the transport ministry estimated the cost of the cancellation at 100 million pesos.

At a news conference on Monday, Lopez Obrador criticized the ASF, calling its figures an exaggeration and demanding the auditor explain how it arrived at them.

The ASF said it would publish a final revised report once its review was complete.

Lopez Obrador canceled the airport after arguing that the project, initially slated to cost $13 billion, was riddled with corruption and geologically unsound. His party oversaw a public consultation on the decision, but his opponents said this was too limited, as barely 1 percent of the population took part.

The cancellation sent shock waves through financial markets, and the government has paid billions of dollars to compensate investors. Nevertheless, Lopez Obrador has always maintained that his decision saved the public coffers.

Afterwards, he ordered the construction of a cheaper alternative airport north of the city, overseen by the army.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.