Mexico’s New Infrastructure Investment Vehicles: The Case of the Cerro de Oro Hydroelectric Project
Recent years have seen the emergence of a consensus around the idea that infrastructure is a key pillar of development and global economic growth. Worldwide, infrastructure spending is estimated at US$2–3 billion per year, and it is believed that an additional US$4 billion is needed annually between now and 2030 to meet infrastructure needs. The model being promoted for achieving these numbers calls for, among other things, (1) regulatory and legislative reforms that attract infrastructure investors and protect their interests; (2) the identification of megaprojects that hold the promise of generating economic growth; and (3) the use of public funds such as taxes and pension funds to minimize risk for institutional investors. This article undertakes a macro-level analysis of global trends in financing for infrastructure. At the meso level, it looks at changes in Mexico’s laws, policies, and programs and their correlation with the abovementioned infrastructure investment model. At the micro level, it examines how this model is reflected in the case of the Cerro de Oro hydroelectric project in the state of Oaxaca, which has involved numerous violations of the rights of local communities.