If agrarian disputes can be resolved, the new super highway between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca will be completed by the end of November, President López Obrador said Friday.
The president made the prediction while touring parts of the 104-kilometer highway with Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat.
The 15-year-old project, which authorities say is now 84% complete, has missed many scheduled opening dates, leaving many area residents not only wary of such forecasts but doubtful that it will be completed at all.
One of the main obstacles to its completion has been territorial disputes in the region but the president was hopeful they might be resolved soon.
He said efforts are under way to reconcile differences over agrarian issues and find an agreement. “Before Alejandro [Murat] finishes his term we are going to inaugurate this highway, which will allow getting from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca city in 2 1/2 hours, while now it takes five, six hours …”
The governor’s term ends Nov. 30.
In mid-September, residents of San Vicente Coatlán wrote López Obrador to advise him that they had decided to prevent work on the highway in their territory due to a disagreement with neighbouring Sola de Vega.
They recalled that the federal government had agreed to establish roundtable discussions between the two municipalities. But residents of Sola, they charged, have been unwilling to cooperate.
The conflict goes back some 47 years, according to one media report, and has claimed the lives of 28 people in the last 17 years.
Representatives of San Vicente said if discussions can be resumed and “a peace accord” signed they will allow construction to resume. They are not opposed to the project, they said, but to “the violation of our ancestral property.”
With reports from Eje Central, El Universal