Around 200 organizations and 60 activists made a call on president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to suspend the construction of the Maya Train, which is intended to be carried out in the midst of the pandemic.
“It is worrying that in the face of the health emergency that has been generated worldwide by the appearance of COVID-19, the federal government intends to maintain activities related to the project known as “Tren Maya“, despite the fact that its construction is absolutely not essential, and the project involves the eviction of people from thei property, in the middle of the current pandemic,” civil organizations, collectives, communities, activists and citizens in general said in a statement.
In the document, signed by groups such as Indignation, Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, Regional Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil, Assembly of Defenders of the Mayan Territory Múuch ‘Xíinbal, Articulación Yucatán, Network of Producers of Environmental Services and Collective of Mayan Communities de Los Chenes, it is expressed that this determination puts at risk the health and life of construction workers, as well as the general population, mainly indigenous.
It is also noted that continuing the activities related to the construction of the Maya Train in the midst of this pandemic generates a state of defenselessness towards those people and communities that have expressed their rejection or opposition to the project:
“Given the fact that the courts of law are not operating normally nationwide, the real possibility that individuals, communities or groups can exercise their access to justice to challenge any act or omission related to this project must be guaranteed.”
It seems like AMLO wants to take advantage of the situation to start the construction of the Maya Train, and prevent the indigenous communities to protest against the project.
“The agreement that orders the construction of the so-called Maya Train to be maintained despite the contingency, adds to the opacity and lack of information with which the federal government has managed this project,” the document reads.
The text refers to the groups and activists who are concerned that the main argument to continue with the implementation of the so-called Maya Train, is to detonate the economic development of the Yucatan Peninsula, when the reality is that there is no defined project, nor the information necessary to know if it would benefit the rural and indigenous population of the peninsula, so they demand that the President suspend its construction, and start a process of real, serious, informed and equitable dialogue after the health emergency is over, that guarantees the right to information and in compliance with ILO Convention 169, UN and OAS Declarations regarding the participation and self-determination of the communities affected by this project, as well as the environment and their territory.
“Continuing this project in the current circumstances represents a serious violation of the human rights of the affected rural indigenous communities and of the population in general,” the document states.The Yucatan Times
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