Agency forced to release documents
A Mexican agency decided to force the National Water Commission (Conagua) to release documents related to the Constellation Brands beer plant under construction in southern Mexicali.
The National Institute of Transparency and Access to Information, or INAI in Spanish, voted in response to a request of information filed by a citizen.
The commission reportedly said no files were originally found in its archives.
However, INAI rejected that excuse due to the Conagua’s responsibility in the issue.
Conagua must submit all documents related to the construction of the plant and the water pipeline built from Ejido Villahermosa rural town produced since 2015.
Commissioner Joel Salas Suárez said according to Conagua all counties in Baja California had reported drought.
However the beer plant will use 20 million cubic meters of water per year, which is the amount of water used by a city of 750,000 residents, commissioner Salas said.
In 2017 the state government announced the construction of a 30-mile water line to transport water from the Colorado River to supply the plant.
The commissioner said transparency in this case will help involved agencies to show this project has considered environmental impacts and that it will result in the socioeconomic benefits for the community.
Conagua Counsel Office said no documents were found in its archives pertaining to the project.
But commissioner Salas said the agency has all legal obligations to have knowledge in the matter given the agency authorizes water permits.
Conagua must have given Constellation Brands a license to use the nation’s water, the commissioner insisted.
Salas said although some documents have been found about the plant project the American company has not provided the appropriate information related to the project’s authorization.
Salas asked Conagua to answer why the agency has no documents related to the controversial plant.
The commissioner said the issue is significant for residents given Congress has already determined it represents risks for the population due to the drought conditions and the amount of water expected to be used to produce beer.