Campeche, Camp, (June 04, 2021).- In the face of aggressions, human rights violations, fraud, and extortion by the authorities in charge of the Maya Train works, representatives of the ejidos Don Samuel, Miguel Alemán, Haro, Escárcega, División del Norte, and Candelaria in the state of Campeche, made an urgent call to the Government of Mexico to guarantee the safety of their families.
In a virtual press conference, they reiterated their public complaint against the company Barrientos y Asociados, hired by the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur), to negotiate the release of rights of way for the construction of the railway.
“Currently the situation of insecurity has increased in our communities, as several people in our ejidos have been threatened and intimidated. Faced with this, we know that together we are stronger, so we have formed a Union of Ejido Commissioners, through which, we will jointly decide the issues related to the Maya Train Project, which affect our land, territory, and natural resources ”, they expressed.
“We will not negotiate individually with any company or government entity, but from now on, any negotiation must be dealt with the ejido block,” they warned.
The protesters demanded to have the necessary information, in advance, timely, and in a culturally appropriate format, before they are asked to approve or make decisions regarding this or other issues that impact their communities in the short, medium, and long term.
They reported that the negotiation process that Barrientos y Asociados initiated in several of the communities was plagued with vices and irregularities, although the way of operating was the same in general terms: a person appeared in the communities, identifying himself as the company’s legal representative with a friendly and supportive attitude to win the trust of the people.
The person, the same in all cases, sought to obtain authorization, which literally, only took him minutes in some ejidos, without the majority of the Assembly’s signatures, and without the presence of any agrarian authority, in addition to not providing a copy of the documents to the ejidatarios.
Later, he gave checks to some representatives, without providing further information, documents, or clarification on the amounts. On the other hand, the representative of Barrientos y Asociados asked the ejidatarios to return most of the money in cash, once the checks had been cashed, arguing that it was the amount corresponding to the payment for the company’s management and professional services.
The ejidatarios who refused or who asked for documents and explanations were threatened, intimidated, and even extorted by the representative of the firm.
“In the case of the Candelaria ejido, threats and pressure were received from various political actors so that we desist from the protection we have presented. As we have previously indicated, our community was already in this territory before the roads were built and despite this, they insist on evicting us and harass us, arguing that we are invaders”.Candelaria Ejidatarios