A federal court confirmed a provisional suspension that prevents the execution of new works for the Maya Train Project in the municipalities of Mérida, Izamal, and Chocholá, all in the state of Yucatán, at least until February 19.
The Collegiate Court on Labor and Administrative Matters, based in Mérida, confirmed the suspension granted on January 20th, by federal judge Karla Domínguez Aguilar, as part of an injunction filed by residents of Yucatán who allege that the train will cause environmental damage and it was not sufficiently consulted with the communities.
Unanimously, the three judges of the court rejected the arguments of Fonatur Tren Maya in the complaint appeal 21/2021, voted last Thursday, and whose sentence, which is final, was notified on Monday, Feb. 8th.
The judge will decide on February 19 if the provisional suspension becomes definitive, which would prevent new works for the Maya Train in the aforementioned municipalities for an indefinite period of time.
The suspension mainly affects section 3, and partially section 4 of the Maya Train Project, whose works for platforms and railways were awarded to the consortium GAMI Ingeniería and Construcciones Urales, and ICA Constructora, respectively, for a total of almost 40 billion euros.
Section 3 goes from Calkiní, Campeche, to Izamal, Yucatán, passing through Chocholá and Mérida, while section 4 goes from Izamal to Cancún.
The suspension is for the following purposes:
“That the responsible authorities refrain from carrying out actions aimed at the execution of the Maya Train Phase 1 project derived from the approval of the Environmental Impact Statement (MIA) on November 30, 2020, only in what concerns the municipalities of Mérida, Izamal, and Chocholá, since the complainants are inhabitants of these municipalities, that is, the construction work is not being carried out within the geographic area of this community. “
“In the understanding that this limitation is only with respect to new works and/or constructions; that is, if the project called Maya Train Phase 1 requires rehabilitating and/or maintaining pre-existing railways, the responsible authorities will be able to execute the project “.
The judge considered that the train can alter the land, forests, flora, fauna, natural resources, the environment, biodiversity, water, and health, among others, and that these alterations can cause irreparable damage to the promoters of the injunction.
He added that some missing documents of the project’s MIA were published until July 30, 2020, the same date on which the public consultation concluded (which is illogical).
“What incidentally and in the appearance of good law, could violate the right to democratic and deliberative public participation in relation to the right to a healthy environment,” the judge said.
Fonatur argued that the train already has an Environmental Impact Authorization and rejected irreversible ecological damage, but the court decided that precisely this is the issue that will have to be clarified when issuing a judgment on the merits in the injunction trial, not in the suspension.
The court also rejected Fonatur’s request to set the complainants to pay a monetary guarantee so that the suspension continues to take effect.
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