Mexican NGO accuses water infra firm of benefiting from ties to AMLO

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 27, 2023

Mexican anti-corruption NGO MCCI has accused water infrastructure company Regiomontana de Construcción y Servicios (Recsa) of receiving a 1.7bn-peso (US$89mn) contract for a government project without submitting a bid. 

MCCI claimed Ozore was awarded the contract for a water treatment plant that forms part of the 10bn-peso Agua Saludable para La Laguna program in Durango and Coahuila states only nine days after its creation, and after the tender was declared void and the procurement law applied to enable direct awarding. The contract involves a new 6.34m3/s conventional coagulation treatment plant.

The procurement law allows direct awarding after voiding a tender if proposals were not in line with the requirements.

Yet, Recsa participated in the tender before its cancellation, and joined the consortium comprising Ozore-owned Ozone Ecología Equipments and Ingeniería en Procesos de Tratamientos de Agua only later on.

When asked for comment by BNamericas, Recsa referred to a statement CEO Humberto Armenta gave to MCCI. “Ozore is a [special purpose vehicle], created with the sole purpose of managing the contract for the Laguna water treatment plant. Ozone is owned by Ozore (50%) and Recsa (50%). Recsa was founded in 1994 by yours truly when I graduated as a civil engineer.”

According to the investigation, Armenta is close to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and even drafted the government’s water infrastructure and management platform during AMLO’s 2018 campaign.

Recsa won several contracts for priority projects such as the 20bn-peso Texcoco lake ecological park (PELT) in Mexico state and the 20bn-peso rehabilitation of the 213km section of the 300km Tehuantepec isthmus rail corridor between Veracruz and Oaxaca states.

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