In Sinaloa, they pay for school breakfasts in a pandemic and without ensuring their distribution

Without guaranteeing a distribution network that would adapt to the health contingency due to coronavirus and distance education, in 2020 and 2021 the System for the Comprehensive Development of the Family of Sinaloa spent 182 million 611 thousand pesos in the purchase of supplies for the Program Cold School Breakfasts.

Although the records maintain that a correct distribution was carried out in the municipal DIF warehouses, in some cases the breakfasts did not consistently reach the hands of children who were beneficiaries of the program, in others they were sold to third parties by not contacting the beneficiaries and so that they will not expire without being taken advantage of, and on some occasions they did not even arrive.

The 182.6 million pesos spent in those two years by the DIF Sinaloa result from five agreements with Mexican Food Security (Segalmex), a decentralized public body created by decree of the Federal Executive in 2019, in charge of giving guaranteed prices to producers and recently indicated by the Superior Audit of the Federation for not being able to prove the destination of 8 thousand 636 million pesos.

The former head of the DIF Sinaloa during the beginning of the pandemic and currently a local deputy for the Party of the Institutional Revolution, Concepción Zazueta Castro, declared that despite the health situation and the confinement of girls and boys, the federal authorities decided that the states made the same volume of purchases.

“We had supervision from the national DIF and the same register, and they continued to supervise that we deliver these supports, that’s why we made the same purchase,” Zazueta Castro said.

A cold school breakfast consists of 250 milliliters of skim milk, some crackers or whole grain cereal, and sometimes dried fruit. Each boy and girl who benefits from the program must receive a monthly supply of at least 20 breakfasts.

In order to put together these packages, the state DIF bought 102 million products in 2020 and 2021.

According to the minutes and documentation, the 102 million products purchased were delivered to warehouses operated by each of the 18 municipalities of Sinaloa, and the invoices were paid to Segalmex in full, but when verifying receipt at schools, in some municipalities did not receive them throughout the pandemic, or sporadically.

Interviews with teachers from schools located in Mazatlán, Culiacán, Navolato, Guasave and Ahome, show that although there were cases in which the breakfasts arrived on time and regularly, in some cases the inconsistencies and logistical deficiencies that affected the program predominate.

To clarify doubts about what could have happened in the distribution network so that the breakfasts did not reach all the schools that were supposed to arrive, at the beginning of March Noroeste sought an interview with the director of the DIF Sinaloa Cuitláhuac González Galindo, but his communication team already He did not respond after being informed by this publishing house of the subject for which he was wanted. On May 11, González Galindo was appointed State Secretary of Health.

These findings at the state level are part of an investigation carried out by Noroeste and Animal Politico, where irregularities were documented in food programs for students that occurred during the sanitary confinement by Covid-19 in the states of Sinaloa, San Luis Potosí and Veracruz.

Those who spent the most on agreements

The DIFs of Sinaloa, San Luis Potosí and Veracruz are the entres that spent the most on agreements for the purchase of school breakfasts in 2020 and 2021, totaling one thousand 770 million pesos.

It involved the purchase of 336 million items for school breakfasts, such as milk cartons, cookies, dehydrated fruit, cereal bars, which make up the ‘cold breakfasts’ and tuna, sardines, flour, grains and even fruits, meats and vegetables for ‘hot breakfasts’, supplies for school canteens.

(Zedryk Raciel, Nayeli Roldán and Marcela del Muro supported the investigation)