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Mingob is still considering leaving the construction of a new prison in the hands of a questioned company in Mexico and the US.

The Minister of the Interior, David Napoleón Barrientos, continues with the construction project of a maximum security prison, despite the remarks that have arisen from having included as sole offeror to the Mexican consortium made up of Technical Innovations in Foundations, SA de CV (Itecsa), Rancho Sierra Real Estate and International Heavy Construction, Inc.

Itecsa, of the Tradeco group in Mexico, faces accusations and legal proceedings for unfinished works and having done business with the Hernández Alvarado brothers —former president of Honduras and his brother— extradited to the United States for drug trafficking.

This company offered to build the prison for US$87.9 million —just over Q660 million— in 18 months, and in the next week the construction of the Cuyuta farm, lot 218, in Masagua, Escuintla, would be decided.

The Mingob argued that “there are two independent bodies that are to analyze this work: the Bidding Board and the Executive Committee, which carry out the qualification and verification of the participating bidders before awarding”.

with that scenery the process progresses but fears arise that the entity that is intended to be contracted does not meet the qualities and does not deliver the project, as has happened in the past.

On the other hand, the Mingob has not spoken about the accusations that weigh on the Mexican consortium or why the other bidder, Ciec & Richen Asociados Geotec, was disqualified, to which they returned the offer in a sealed envelope without knowing it, for not presenting a simple copy of the Power of Attorney of Association.

Transparency and opportunity

At the discretion of the director of Citizen Action (AC), Edie Cux, “it seems that these types of events are already being handled in a way to benefit a questioned company in another country.”

“I think that even at the national level there would be companies that can provide this infrastructure and it is surprising that there are no other providers other than this one,” he said.

cux It is unknown if the Mingob had already tried to carry out this acquisition process in another way, “But there are many things that attract attention and the legitimacy of that purchase is doubted.”

“That is a sensitive issue because it could call into question the very hiring, andl fulfillment of the contract and execution of the work, because it does not give certainty that the company will comply with what is being acquired, “he said.

On transparency issues, “The fact that there is only one offer and few explanations to clarify doubts only increases mistrust and could end badly,” he added.

“It is a good opportunity and it is important that this loan can be executed in the most efficient, productive and transparent way for the country, with prison infrastructure that meets all quality requirements,” he said. Corinne Dedic, specializing in Penitentiary Law, from the Center for National Economic Research (One hundred).

The professional agrees with Cux in terms of Make the process transparent so that it runs smoothly. He states that “in the bidding rules there is a chapter where it talks about the qualification and the requirements that the companies that offer must meet. There it specifically says “qualification of the offeror” and then it says “criterion 1”, which is the history of non-compliance with contracts and litigation. >

According to Dedik, this serves to verify if the bidder has incurred in breach of the works contract in the last five years prior to the date of receipt of the offer.

“If the offeror He has no record, court rulings, nothing should happen, but the company has indications and it is assumed that this must have been qualified with those criteria that must be met to be evaluated”, he stressed.

From the foregoing, consider that “The question is whether certain criteria were included in the meeting that the bidder must comply with, including the history of compliance or non-compliance with previous contracts and possible litigation.

Dedik made it look like it is up to the board to explain whether it analyzed this company, taking these remarks into account.

For now, information on whether the company presented certificates or settlements of previous works to download the signs has not been released.

Respect national laws

According to Cux, even though the work will be carried out on loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, National regulations must be respected to guarantee a work of quality and transparency in the management of funds.

Likewise, compared this case with that of Odebrecht, “which even through loans from the Brazilian bank and other regional banks influenced to hire certain companies with the same resources that the States buy.” <

Cux warned that it would be necessary to verify that this is not a similar case, due to the way in which the acquisition is being developed, in which only one bidder appears.

At the same time, Dedik maintains that the construction of the prison is very important, “Because it is a great opportunity to build and expand prison spaces with so much overcrowding that there is today.”

He also pointed out that in the mandate of Otto Pérez Molina there was a project aimed at building a prison center for serving sentences in another area of ​​Escuintla.

“It was awarded, planning began, the advance payment from the Government was delivered to the company, but the work was never finished because the Comptroller of Accounts stopped the project”, he stressed.

Finally, Dedik emphasized that millions of quetzales were lost on that occasion. and the prison was never built.

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