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Zaragoza Canal dredging project stalled due to lack of funds

Chetumal, Q.R. — Since the Federation transferred responsibility to the State government, the state administration has not contemplated resources to continue the dredging of the Zaragoza Canal.

The Secretariat of Public Works (SEOP), Irazú Sarabia May, says now, the possibility of requesting a budget increase will depend on the project that is presented, whether or not to give it continuity.

In 2018, the administration of former Governor Carlos Joaquín González, through the Integral Port Administration and the Secretary of the Navy, signed a collaboration agreement to expand the Zaragoza channel.

The project that was to see the canal expanded to 4,970 meters in length and 50 meters wide by three meters deep, was left in charge of the Secretary of the Navy.

At the time, the former Secretary of Public Works, William Conrado, reported that 160 million pesos was required to blast slab rock, which was preventing them from moving forward, however, the additional money was never set aside and the project stalled.

In August of 2021, the State Government, through the Integral Port Administration of Quintana Roo (Apiqroo) headed by then-General Director Alicia Ricalde Magaña, held meetings with U.S. investors to promote the conceptual projects of the Zaragoza Canal that would trigger economic activity in the south of Quintana Roo.

At the time, the Zaragoza Canal was promoted as a home port for first, second and third generation ships, a marina to accommodate 156 boats, ecotourism villages and a cargo terminal.

Surrounding tourist attractions of Chetumal, Mahahual, Xcalak and the Banco Chinchorro coral reef barrier were also promoted to U.S. investors at the time at a show-and-tell in Florida.