First, it was the presidential jet, and now Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has announced the sale of hundreds of state-owned vehicles in an attempt to finance the country’s newly proposed National Guard.
In a statement the country’s president made yesterday, 29 January, he detailed that a total of 263 official vehicles and 76 aircraft will be auctioned in two events. Up for sale, buyers will be able to grab themselves vans, tractors, pick up trucks, cars, motorcycles, buses, trailers, helicopters, planes and armoured luxury cars, all of which have since been described as ‘fifi’ and ‘muchuchones’ of the previous government.
According to his daily press conference, the sales will take place at the Santa Lucia military base on February 23 and 24 and all buyers of the vehicles will also be investigated to ensure the payments were not sourced from illegal activities. On April 26 and 27, a number of planes and helicopters will further go on sale in the second part of the austerity proposal.
Steps have already been made by the Morena government to create a militarised national guard that would be tasked with policing public areas and reducing crime levels in the country. Prior to AMLO becoming president, it was already common to see the military personnel line the streets in response to the country’s policing concerns. The country’s former Internal Security Law, which was overturned just a few months ago, had caused considerable controversy since its introduction last year citing the normalisation of military force in internal security enforcement. Instead, AMLO’s proposal of a National Guard will, much like the police force, be able to make arrests and ensure that safety is maintained.
Yesterday morning’s statement continued to talk of hopes of raising up to 100 million pesos (US$5.2 million) within the first auction alone, with the end goal ending corruption across the country.
El Universal has since pointed out that the vehicles have already been valued, yet it is uncertain how much the auction will actually bring in. Within the report, they referred to an example of an Audi A8 which was bought for 6.3 million pesos (US$329,250) but will have a starting auction price of 1.9 million pesos (US$99,297).
‘‘The austerity plan is being applied to finance the country’s development and basically consists in ending corruption and applying a state policy of Republican austerity,” said Andres Manuel López Obrador according to Televisa.News. It forms part of a long promised austerity plan which has seen cut backs on a number of government luxuries, as well as salaries of the country’s top paid politicians and Senators.