Santamarina Steta

Federal Government Expropriations for Megaprojects Can Be Bogged Down: Santamarina y Steta

  • There is no way to force individuals to sell, without covering legal requirements.
  • Unresolved by the law, purchases, and expropriations in four municipalities of Quintana Roo.

Mexico City, March 9, 2022. Mariano Calderón, an expert in protections from the legal firm Santamarina y Steta, pointed out that the appropriation of private land for the conclusion of the federal mega projects of Tren Maya and Felipe Ángeles Airport can be bogged down due to the lack of procedures Of law. "We see progress in the works without having the corresponding land yet and declarations of expropriation that leave us in doubt if they covered the steps that the law dictates," he reported.

The expert said that the impression that the Executive is leaving for these works is that it reaches the projected areas, chooses the land, and intends to force the sale when it must previously meet various requirements, even before reaching the expropriation, which would have to be a last resort. “There is no legal way to force individuals to sell without these requirements, which can end badly for the government in court. Any affected person has the possibility of resorting to the law and promoting the means of defense, to demonstrate that such requirements are not met,” he clarified.

Mariano Calderón listed some elementary steps dictated by law to obtain land that, if not followed, will give rise to disputes in court.

For the purchase of land:

1.- Verify previously that there is no asset available in the federation's real estate assets. In such a case, the acquisition would mean a waste of resources.

2.- If, in effect, you do not have a property available, an analysis would have to be carried out and documented to determine which property in question is the only and best one, which meets all the characteristics to fulfill the purpose of the government project.

3.- The value of the property must be verified and have authorization from the SHCP, and a budget item for its acquisition is foreseen.

4.- An appraisal must be made in terms of the General Law of National Assets.

If these requirements are not met, the last resort is appropriate, which is expropriation, which is not unrestricted and must also adhere to the law:

1.- It is essential to determine and justify that the land is suitable for the cause of public utility.

2.- Carry out a technical, legal, material analysis, etc. to determine and support that the situation is indeed a cause of public utility.

3.- Gather the documentation, grounds, and motives, and all the legal and factual support.

4.- Make the declaration of expropriation.

5.- Make compensation, which, as a Constitutional requirement, must attend to the commercial value of the property that is expropriated.

"Given these legal requirements, it has come to our attention that in recent days, for the construction of Section 5 North and 5 South of the Mayan Train project, in four municipalities of Quintana Roo, the federal government announced that it has agreements with 70% of the owners when it should have had not only agreements, but also covered all purchasing procedures and operations and, where appropriate, expropriation files before starting the project", he concluded.

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