Yesterday, Javier Corral, Governor of Chihuahua, presented a legal dispute in the Supreme Court of Justice against the modification of the rules governing the Mining Fund made by the federal government. Along with Corral, the challenge was presented by 23 mayors from all parties except Morena: 22 from municipalities within Chihuahua and one from Sonora.
All went to court after unsuccessfully requesting a meeting with López Obrador. “We are not opposed to the social programs and financing programs that the President of the Republic wants to carry out,” Corral told the press. “What we are defending are the resources that belong to the municipalities of the state of Chihuahua.”
The Mining Fund was created in 2014 obligating all mining operators in the country to pay a percentage on their production that is then distributed in the communities where the mining companies operate. For all mining activities, a 7.5 percent rate is applied, while silver, gold and platinum incur an extra 0.5 percent rate.
With the modification carried out by the new administration, the municipalities will no longer participate in the decisions on how to distribute the resources of the Mining Fund, with the entire decision being left to the federal authorities. “We went to the court to restore the original sense and spirit, which was the result of the municipal struggle in the Senate,” said Corral. “The Mining Fund was created so that part of the profits of the mining companies return to the communities in the form of basic infrastructure. We cannot continue making the resources of the nation an instrument for government legitimacy.”
However, the Government’s position is clear, as indicated by Francisco Quiroga, Deputy Secretary of Mining, and it does not seem that it will change. “We understand that the approach that some governors prefer is for the Mining Fund to be distributed through the state and municipal governments,” he said two days ago. “We understand your position, but the position of the Federal Government is to distribute it directly, without intermediaries, so that it arrives directly to where it is needed.”
According to Javier Corral, thanks to the creation of the Mining Fund, 330 infrastructure works were carried out in Chihuahua, in which MX$1.2 billion were invested up to 2017. These included the construction of roads, public spaces, water networks and drainage in 28 of the 67 municipalities of the state.