The ports of City of Carmen, Ensenada, La Paz, Manzanillo, Mazatlán and Lázaro Cárdenas are used by the cartels of Sinaloa and that of Jalisco New Generation, what dispute maritime entrances raising “the rates of violence to control criminal logistics routes.”
The federal government and the Superior Audit Office of the Federation detected various irregularities in the country’s ports, ranging from lthe delivery of the maritime terminals to the drug cartels, to the loss of millions of pesos due to acts of corruption in the management of procedures. This originated in the last two decades when the Ministry of Communication and Transport was the rector of the operations of the 117 national ports and terminals.
According to federal intelligence documents, the six ports with more operations of drug trafficking groups and the diagnosis is that in the management of the SCT in the ports, the criminal gangs promoted “corruption with officials and authorities to involve them in their operations and extract or load drugs. “
Ports like Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas they became strategic points for the cartels as far as “lships bequeathed from South American countries, but with flags of other nations, which transported the drug in different methods: hiding it on ships, tying small submersibles like torpedoes, or even sticking containers to their hulls “.
Another of the irregularities detected was the fuel transfer irregularly in the multiple-use terminals located in the Gulf of Mexico, with the consent of authorities of the SCT and Petróleos Mexicanos.
The previous port authorities also weigh the lack of transparency in the concession and management of the private security of ports and maritime terminals; in the direct award of contracts for the partial transfer of rights and tax evasion.
Regarding the nautical schools, also operated by the SCT, lack the infrastructure to complete the training quality of the students, since “they do not have a training ship (As the law establishes), there are no sources of work for graduates, only 1 percent of graduated officers can do internships aboard boats, they do not have adequate pools, laboratories and accommodation either. “
The situation is aggravated when “merchant nautical personnel must process their certifications with maritime authorities abroad.”
Regarding dredging, in the ports with the highest traffic of larger vessels, this activity has been susceptible to “non-transparent processes”, granting permits to foreign vessels through concessions awarded to contractors, who in turn sublease the work due to lack of technical capabilities , making services more expensive and delaying implementation.
From 2010 to 2018, they were tendered 89 dredging works among which the new port of Veracruz and the expansion of the port of Lázaro Cárdenas stand out. Of them, 59 were awarded to micro and small companies that due to lack of capacity they had to sublet the works, increasing the dredging operation costs.
Currently, the Port Captains in charge of SEMAR have the capacity to carry out all the administrative procedures required by the maritime sector.
Therefore, with the approval of the Law to Strengthen the Maritime Authority, the functions performed by the SCT were duplicated, which avoids the waste of human, financial, material resources and the bureaucratic apparatus and complying with the principle of austerity.
With the new legislation, the Port Captaincies can attend the procedures, as they did previously, without increases in personnel and budget, eliminating the structure recently established by the SCT with the Offices of Services to the Merchant Marine.
Billions lost: ASF
The ports of Lázaro Cárdenas, Mazatlán, Altamira and Topolobampo have for seven years to check about 234 million pesos that would be used to carry out public works at its facilities.
These ports are the ones with the higher amounts to check, for contracts that had a surcharge, for which they were pointed out for an alleged patrimonial damage: Lázaro Cárdenas owes 93.3 million pesos; Mazatlán, 87.8 million; Topolobampo, 27.8 million and Altamira, 25 million.
While the Comprehensive Port Administrations (APIs) of Coatzacoalcos, Ensenada, Guaymas, Progreso, Tuxpan and Veracruz also have amounts to be clarified that range from 400 thousand to 11 million pesos.
The ASF pointed out irregularities of resources in Lázaro Cárdenas in the Public Account 2015; just like him Failure to recover advance payments to a company whose contract was later terminated, the direct award without explanation from another company to conclude the works that the first one left pending, payments for works not carried out, among others.
While the 2018 public account, a 11 million 295 thousand 425.29 pesos missing in the natural expansion of the port of Veracruz in the North Zone and Development of the Logistics Activities Zone.
A year earlier, in 2107, the ASF also detected anomalies in the application of 37 million 888 thousand 494.27 pesos in the expansion of the port of Isla del Carmen, Campeche, according to resolution 330-DE.
Among the irregularities, the authorization of the payment of 13,992.56 cubic meters of 12-centimeter-thick asphalt concrete layer was verified, without its execution being fully credited; external supervision did not monitor the proper performance of the work and allowed the payment of that concept without it having been made.
The conventional penalties to which the external supervision company was credited were also not applied, due to the delays registered in the works and it was omitted to register in the electronic log of the service contract related to the public works the progress and relevant aspects, since there are periods without records for up to 586 and 158 calendar days, determined the Federal Audit.
In the 2013 public account, under number DE-091, the ASF determined the lack of verification of 87 million 823 thousand 600 pesos for works in the Dredging of the Navigation Channel from La Bocana to the Ciaboga Dock in the port of Mazatlán, Sinaloa.
In general terms, the Administración Portuaria Integral de Mazatlán, SA de CV, did not comply with the legal and regulatory provisions in the payment of estimates without documentation proving their origin for the more than 87 million pesos.
“Volumes of material that were not physically found in the work were considered; there was a regulatory omission on the part of the audited entity, due to the fact that it did not notify the Internal Control Body (OIC) in a timely manner of the allegedly apocryphal documentation presented by one of the bidders who participated in the process ”, the Superior Audit reported.