The Mexico City Water System (Sacmex) has filed a complaint with the capital’s Prosecutor’s Office alleging sabotage


Sacmex has filed a complaint with the capital’s Prosecutor’s Office alleging sabotage as the cause of the contaminated water in the Alfonso XIII well that supplies the Benito Juárez borough, where a compound of degraded oils was found, causing a strong fuel odor and murky, dark colors in the water: “which suggests the commission of a criminal act,” says the complaint that was made public on Thursday night, but was formally filed last Wednesday, April 17. Myriam Vilma Urzúa Venegas, Secretary of Comprehensive Risk Management and Civil Protection, assures that sabotage is only one of the possible causes of the contamination: “It is one of the strong lines of investigation we have,” authorities warn.

The Sacmex complaint was filed on April 17 with the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office (FGJCDMX) — almost 20 days after the first complaints from neighbors were made public — in which they state: “It is noted the presence of some type of contaminant in the drinking water extracted from the potable water well named Alfonso XIII […] which suggests the commission of a criminal act against the public service of distribution and supply of potable water, resulting in disruption to the economic, political, social, or cultural life in the Benito Juárez borough.”

When questioned about this procedure, Urzúa Venegas clarified in an interview with W Radio that it was necessary to file a complaint for sabotage because it is one of the causes that the capital authorities consider to explain the origin of the contamination. “There are many lines… it could have been a criminal act. The well is 250 meters deep and between 30 and 40 centimeters in diameter, which is why doing all the work of suction and cleaning is not easy, technically it is not easy,” she explained.

Sacmex has requested the intervention of the General Coordination of Forensic Investigation and Expert Services of the Prosecutor’s Office, to appoint an official expert in environmental matters, who, they hope, will determine the conditions of the water extracted from the well. The complaint also asks the Police to “carry out a thorough investigation of the facts that gave rise to this complaint; go to the place to perform a visual inspection and take graphics of it; locate possible witnesses that can corroborate that the provision of the public service of distribution and supply of potable water by SACMEX is hindered; and, finally, locate the possible defendants for these acts.”

On April 11, President López Obrador tried to clarify the matter and ruled out sabotage among the reasons being considered to explain how the problem originated. The president dismissed sabotage because, he assured, there were no elements to confirm that version and, instead, said that technicians from the state oil company Pemex were collaborating in the verification and review tasks of the company’s pipelines that pass near the area: “There is already a review of a pipeline that passes about 500 meters from where the well is and all the underground installations of Pemex are being reviewed, nothing has been found so far, but that does not mean that the possibility of a leak is ruled out,” he said.

Urzúa Venegas rectified that through the work of Pemex, the components causing the contamination were found, and recalled that in the early days the presence of gasoline was ruled out: “It is a degraded oil that is currently being analyzed for what other elements it may have. There is no other substance. It is not gasoline.” Urzúa has assured that in recent days, the odor in the water is decreasing, according to neighbors and residents of Benito Juárez, and added that the attention requested by those affected is also diminishing.

Source: El Pais