Militarization of Mexico: Secretary of National Defense plans to enter the tourism industry

The Secretary of National Defense ( Sedena ) is working on the creation of a new airline that provides passenger and cargo transportation services with a fleet of 10 leased planes. It also plans the creation of a tourism company that manages three hotels, two museums, and two ecological parks.

The projects are promoted by the Olmeca-Maya-Mexica Airport, Railway and Auxiliary Services Group (GAFSAOMM), a public company created by Sedena to operate the Felipe Ángeles airports, in the State of Mexico; Tulum and Chetumal, in Quintana Roo; Palenque, in Chiapas, and the Mayan Train, in the southeast of the country.

The information was obtained after a search of more than four million Sedena emails that were provided by the group of hacktivists calling themselves “Guacamaya”, who managed to penetrate the Sedena information system and massively filter the institution’s emails, as well as other Latin American Armed Forces such as those of Chile, El Salvador, Peru and Colombia.

The project of the new Sedena companies is detailed in emails sent from the group’s institutional account to members of the same corporation, as well as to officials of the Ministry of Finance, Banjercito, and the Federal Civil Aviation Agency.

According to the revised information, the new public airline could have an annual operating and administrative cost of between one billion and 1.8 billion pesos. The cost will depend on the aircraft model chosen, which could be the Airbus A320, Boeing 737, or ATR-72 type.

The Sedena analyzed the possibility of commercially using the presidential plane through a public airline, but this option is considered with a “high risk of obtaining deficit results.” To make a profit, the plane would have to be rented for 500,000 pesos per hour of flight. The current president of Mexico has been trying to find a buyer for the presidential plane, an aircraft he considers too luxurious and expensive for the taxpayer, the president chooses to travel commercially.

In its analysis, Sedena ruled out the commercial use of the presidential plane and proposes a military use that would consist of humanitarian aid flights, national and foreign study trips, transfers of consular and diplomatic missions, as well as transportation of sports delegations, among others.

“That the plane is part of the fleet of the Mexican Air Force where it is given a military job, to be assigned to substantive activities of the Sedena and the federal government,” the document reads.

According to the information, the Olmeca-Maya-Mexica group faces a legal problem: it cannot have the concession of an airport and an airline at the same time. They intend to solve this through a reform of the regulations of the airport law, without going through the Legislative Power.

The new tourism company that joins the group will be called Servicios Turísticos Itzamná, SA de CV, and will operate the hotel developments Nuevo Uxmal, Plan de San Luis, and four Eco-Hotels that will be distributed in the Mayan Train stations.

The operator will be in charge of the La Plancha and Jaguar national parks, and the Tulum Mammoth and Underwater museums. It is detailed that the general management of the company and each area that integrates it must have a military man in management positions. The rest of the personnel will be retired military or civilians.

“To manage the company, it is proposed that each of its units be in charge of a military administrator, who will be responsible for control, operation and accounting,” the obtained documents outline.

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