Athletes' village construction continues

Updated: May 4, 2011, 8:30 PM ET
Associated Press

MONTERREY, Mexico -- Construction of an athletes' village to house 6,000 competitors at October's Pan American Games in Guadalajara is continuing despite a Mexican judge ordering the work to stop.

Judge Armando Garcia ordered construction on the Villa Panamericana complex to be shut down Monday after residents of the town of Zapopan complained the work would affect their water supply.

Despite the ruling, Guadalajara organizers told The Associated Press on Wednesday that they have sent a memo to participating national Olympic committees saying building work would push on while an appeal was processed.

Gabriel Corona, head of national Olympic committee relations for the organizers, said the athletes' village "is the games' most important construction project and so must continue."

Salvador Sanchez, the games' press chief, told the AP that construction company Corey Integra, which is in charge of building the complex, had already lodged an appeal.

"Work is going ahead normally at the moment," Sanchez said. "The construction company is filing an appeal and this paperwork is key to our hopes."

He said a decision on the appeal was expected "in a question of days."

Organizing committee director Carlos Andrade Garin said a 10-day construction delay would mean the event would have to be canceled but insisted he was confident the games would open as planned on Oct. 14.

"We have some crabs [people who don't want to go forward] who don't like our state to grow, who don't like us having a great event, whose own related interests are more important than those of the community," Andrade Garin said. "Unfortunately, you can't do anything against this kind of people, except get on with our own job."

Governor Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, governor of Jalisco state where Guadalajara is located, said the legal action was motivated by political rivals opposed to the amount of money being spent on the event.

The Pan American Games features athletes from North and South America, as well as Central America and the Caribbean.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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