Baja California Governor Marina Avila asked a private bank that has collected for around a decade federal funds to reimburse about$6 million.
In a video posted Wednesday evening in social media Gov. Avila said Banco Afirme, through which solar plant developer Next Energy was able to access close to a fifth of those funds.
The company signed an agreement with the state during Governor Jaime Bonilla’s administration to provide energy to the Tijuana aqueduct. The project never came to fruition due to lack of federal permits. However, contract language allowed the company to charge the state regardless of providing the energy.
The controversy has triggered a series of complaints and lawsuits against those involved in the contract, including Assembly Speaker Juan Manuel Molina.
Gov. Avila said the state prevailed in court in a case filed for the reimbursement of those funds.
“With absolute surprise I was told that the bank did not want to return those funds to the people of Baja California,” the governor said in the video. “It is important that the court order is complied with.”
Gov. Avila emphasized that the solar plant will never become a reality as since the beginning permits were not issued. State Secretary of the Treasury Marco Antonio Moreno said the state has been planning to cancel the tax collecting contract with Banco Afirme.