MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexico’s federal authorities opened an investigation Wednesday into whether a governor illegally built a river dam on his family’s ranch property that may have affected local water supplies.
The accusations came amid a clash between federal officials and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padres, who said the allegations were a bid to discredit him over his complaints that authorities mishandled a devastating copper mine spill.
David Korenfeld, director of the National Water Commission, said inspectors would check whether the ranch’s owners had permits to build the dam and whether it has affected the city of Hermosillo and others in the northwestern state.
“(The commission) acts according to the law, whoever the owner may be,” Korenfeld told a news conference, showing satellite images of the dam being built in 2011.
“If there are no permits, the dam’s demolition will be ordered,” he said.
Padres, a member of the opposition conservative National Action Party, had voiced his own beef against the federal authorities.