AMLO canceled the National Disaster Fund two years before Hurricane Otis


FONDEN (Natural Disasters Fund), Mexico’s fund for natural disasters, was established in the late 1990s as a mechanism to support the rapid rehabilitation of federal and state infrastructure affected by adverse natural events.

Two years before Hurricane Otis ripped through Guerrero State, the president of Mexico cut this important disaster relief fund.

The decision has left much uncertainty as to how the region will recover from the Category 5 storm which left 27 people dead and at least US$10 billion in damage in the city of Acapulco and neighboring villages.

Mexico’s Fund for Natural Disasters, known as Fonden, was set up in the late Nineties, taking a small portion of the federal budget in order to rapidly respond to natural disasters. It was widely admired as a progressive move.

But when left-wing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador made cost-cutting part of his political platform after he came to office in 2018, the fund was cut.

Now, without a dedicated allocation of the federal budget for disaster relief, the money available fluctuates each year.

The president, popularly known as Amlo, justified his decision at the time, claiming Fonden was “an instrument riddled with corruption,” whose funds did not “reach the people”.

Source: OEM