Mexico's Puebla state denies water privatization plans

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

The government of Mexico's Puebla state denies claims it is attempting to privatize water services, according to local press reports.

Spokesperson Javier Lozano told reporters that a mayor opposing the water management reform that was approved by the state legislature last month is spreading distorted information and creating confusion among the population, daily Diario Cambio reported.

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Lozano added that the government is convinced that the constitutional challenge filed against the reform by José Juan Espinosa, mayor of San Pedro Cholula municipality, will not succeed.

Meanwhile, residents and authorities of Ocotepec, Xoxtla, San Andrés Cholula, Tlaltenango, Coronango, San Andrés Calpan, Huejotzingo and San Pedro Cholula municipalities are organizing to join forces and contest the reform in the courts, according to La Jornada de Oriente.

The group told the paper that a legal team is advising them on how to proceed.

Espinosa filed the constitutional challenge earlier this week, claiming that the reform violated the autonomy of municipal governments.

The reform amended an article of the local constitution and established that the state government will be in charge of regulating the terms and conditions for the provision of water services.

However, Mexico's national constitution states that the management and distribution of water services is the responsibility of municipal governments.

Of the 217 municipalities in the state, only capital Puebla provides water services via a private operator. The city government awarded a 60-year concession to Concesiones Integrales in 2013.