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Quintana Roo Congress votes to end extended 30 year Aguakan concession

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — By the end of the year, Aguakan will be asked to hand over its projects and services to CAPA. The move came after a Friday vote to end their extended 30 year concession.

On Friday, Quintana Roo Congress voted unanimously to end the private company’s concession on its original date and revoke the early extended concession to serve four of the state’s largest areas.

On December 22, 19 participating deputies at the XVII Legislature repealed the decree that had extended the concession until 2053. Within 10 days from the first day of 2024, Aguakan must deliver the service, resources, projects and goods, in working order, to CAPA (Comisión de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado).

Since 2014, the company Desarrollos Hidráulicos de Cancún (Aguakan) has been providing private water and sewer service to the municipalities of Benito Juárez (Cancun), Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos and Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen).

The vote to end the early concession was unanimous. December 22, 2023.

On Friday, the XVII Legislature of the Congress of the State of Quintana Roo approved to repeal the decree that approved the early extension of the Aguakan concession, considering its approval illegal.

As an immediate effect of this decree, it is established that the service concession concludes in its original term, which is December 31, 2023 and is ordered to deliver all services and projects to the Drinking Water and Sewage Commission of the state of Quintana Roo (CAPA).

Deputies also took into consideration the fact that the extension of the concession to 2053 is not yet in effect since the initial concession, which expires December 31, 2023, has not yet ended.

The cancellation of the early extension is also in part due to the 2022 public vote on terminating the company’s concession. In 2022 during municipal elections, a majority of residents in Benito Juárez, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos and Solidaridad voted in favor of ending Aguakan’s concession.

Congress also voted in favor of the creation of a Special Investigation Commission to investigate the final destination of the more than one billion pesos that CAPA received as consideration for the extension of the concession.

Quintana Roo Congress made the vote to end the early extended concession granted to Aguakan. Photo: December 22, 2023.

The early 30-year concession extension was deemed illegal since the government was prevented from carrying out an analysis of the viability of the concessioned service, especially given the numerous consumer complaints regarding excessive charges as well as damage to health and the environment.

Congress noted that at the time of approving the extension, the XIV Legislature was not aware of the terms of the new contract and that a clause was improperly included that modified the way disputes are resolved that involved a panel of experts and international arbitration instead of state courts, which is against the Drinking Water and Sewage Law.