The fast football pitch that Ember Ballinas built on a plot granted by the previous administration of the municipality of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, in May 2017, now hindered the mayor to complete the project of an ecological park paid with the resources of a Pemex fund.
Ballinas says that in order to specify what he denounces as a stripping, since they offer him no alternative but to leave the place, without any compensation, the mayor, Victor Manuel Carranza Rosaldo, and the secretary of the city council, Miguel Guillermo Pintos, presented a false record of the session of municipal lobbyof of the day that the concession was authorized to make it appear before a judge that it had not been authorized.
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«Even that is capable of reaching the highest authority in Coatzacoalcos in order to get away with it and finish a sumptuous work that may give it popularity, but which is leaving no spaces to those who practice football and is running over my rights when as an authority I had to protect them,» Ballinas says.
The concession in dispute was issued in 2017, for 2 thousand 512.58 square meters of land, located within the facilities of the Miguel Hidalgo sports field, in the central colony of the city of Coatzacoalcos, where the individual built, with an investment of one million 200 thousand pesos, a fast football field, a cafeteria, dressing rooms, bathrooms, stands, a playground and lighting.
The concession title, of which Animal Político has a copy, issued by the municipal administration of 2014-2017, included that the individual would pay for services and maintenance of the place.
It was also stipulated that from Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., citizens could make use of the facilities at no cost. Afterwards, the space would be reserved for those who paid. In addition, it was agreed that after 10 years, the infrastructure would pass into the hands of the municipality.
But, the current municipal administration decided it didn’t want the court there. «In May 2018 I met with the secretary of the city council, Miguel Pintos, and he told me that they had 100 million pesos from a Pemex fund to make a central park and that my concession is within the lands considered for that, but that I did not enter the plan, that I would take whatever I want from the infrastructure that I rode and that I left the place,» says Ember Ballinas.
The Pemex fund is the Community and Environment Support Program (PACMA), which emerged in Enrique Peña Nieto’s six-year term, to support projects in areas impacted by the operations of the state-owned company.
Ballinas explains that the Miguel Hidalgo Central Park project in Coatzacoalcos considers to cover 90 thousand square meters of green areas and the concession he has is only 2 thousand 500 square meters.
«It’s actually a little piece right at the end of the park, which, besides, doesn’t contemplate having football pitches. I told them i wasn’t getting in their way there and that if modifications were required, I was in the best position, but they told me no, to go for good.»
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Then the legal battle began. In September 2018, Ballinas was held before a federal court, the Ninth District in The State of Veracruz, based in Coatzacoalcos, and the city council tried to prove that the concession of the land where he built his court had not been given to him.
The individual points to the mayor, Victor Manuel Carranza, and the secretary, Miguel Pintos, as who presented, during the trial, an alleged false act of the agenda of the session of the local lobby, of October 24, 2014, in which the concession was voted and approved.
The approval of the concession in favour of Ballinas is not listed during the session. Faced with the presentation of that document, the individual and his lawyer presented the minutes they said was the original one, where in agenda item five the ratification to grant the concession does appear. Ballinas then asked the judge, through his lawyer, to determine which of the two was the real one.
Among the evidence to corroborate this, the judge, Roberto Blanco, requested a certified copy of the minutes of the lobbying session of that day to the Congress of the State of Veracruz, which has the backing of the original minutes as part of the record of the concession, and where, as confirmed by this portal, in point five the ratification of the concession in the name of Ballinas appears.
The judge also asked an expert to check the book in the same office as Miguel Pinto and determined that the one presented by Ballinas was the real one.
«My lawyer even asks the judge to give the Public Prosecution Service a hearing on the commission of the likely misdeputing of a false document, something he should have done ex officio without us having asked him, but he did not, so we filed the complaint with the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic. That’s under investigation.»
Meanwhile, the amparo dispute against the City Council took its course, but in July 2019, there was a change: Judge Roberto Blanco left the court and instead the judge, Luz Yessenia Armas, who decided to drop the case a week off.
Ballinas requested the review appeal and is now awaiting resolution. Meanwhile, Central Park project has already been almost 90% advanced. Ember’s courts have not touched them, since there is an active review appeal on the resolution of the trial between the individual and the municipality of Coatzacoalcos.
Animal Político requested an interview with the mayor or with the clerk or a position on the issue of the concession and the alleged false record, but Antonio García, director of Communication of the City of Coatzacoalcos assured that officials did not wish to talk about it.
«I consulted with officials about issuing a position and they tell me that the issue has already been addressed, already unsettled, and that they are concerned with the important issues of development of the city,» he said.
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