Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been in office less than a month, and he’s installed what we can call the ” magical-thinking department “.
In an “original people ritual” AMLO asked Mother Earth’s consent for the development of the train project in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The ceremony took place on Sunday Dec. 16, it was presided by AMLO and representatives of 12 indigenous peoples of the state of Chiapas. It was held in the municipality of Palenque, site of one of the most important ancient Mayan cities, and it was simultaneously carried out at five other archaeological areas within the Yucatan Peninsula.
It’s not the ritual that tests common sense, but the apparent premise that holding it makes it acceptable to plow through notable biodiversity hotspots, some already under growing pressure from development.
The “Maya Train” would stretch over 1,500 km (930 miles) and stop at 15 stations in five southern states. AMLO’s office did not immediately give details on any planned environmental impact studies, or public commenting opportunities. A Notimex report says that the project will be “inclusive and sustainable” because the tracks will be built along areas that already have right of way, such as highways and electric transmission lines.
But prominent academics and environmental groups have asked AMLO to reconsider the train. Members of local indigenous communities, who are supposed to be big beneficiaries of the project, have also spoken out against it. “It’s a tourism project that will only benefit the rich and foreigners,” they said in a public statement. “We, the owners of the land, will only see it go by, because the stations aren’t planned for our towns.”