On November 22, 2021, Mexican President AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador issued a broad decree that obliges all Mexican federal agencies and entities to grant âprovisionalâ authorization for public works projects. Published in the Federal Official Journal (Official Journal of the Federation), the decree declares that such projects are a matter of public interest and national security, as well as a strategic priority for national development.
The decree instructs the Mexican federal government to authorize, permit and / or license the launch of infrastructure and public works projects within five days of its entry into force on November 23, 2021. Said provisional authorizations will be in effect. for 12 months; thereafter, a âdefinitiveâ authorization will be obtained.
Any infrastructure project promoted by the current administration could be authorized in lieu of the corresponding studies and assessments (for example, transparency, budgetary, social and / or environmental) set out in the applicable legislation. In other words, by means of the decree, President Lopez Obrador seeks to ignore all authorizations, permits and / or licenses set forth in laws enacted by the Mexican Congress. In addition, any relevant documentation and information on such projects would not be subject to public disclosure.
Some prominent academics and practitioners have expressed concerns about these developments, stating that the general decree is unconstitutional and therefore may not stand in court. They argued that amparo constitutional review actions and / or constitutional controversies may be brought against it by relevant private parties or other government agencies, respectively.