Mérida, Yucatán.- The Mayan Train is generating displacement of ejido lands in Yucatán in order to carry out the six-year project. Fonatur is using at least two ways: expropriation and the purchase of land from ejido communities.
In fact, the federal government announced the purchase of 1,102 hectares of land to be added to the Cuxtal Reserve, as well as the creation of four tree nurseries to reforest the belt through which the train will pass in local territory.
According to the official web page of the municipal government of Mérida, the reserve has an area of 10,757 hectares and was founded on July 14, 1993, through a decree published in the Official State Gazette. This space represents one of the main natural lungs of the city. It has 474 species of animals and plants.
Recently, last September, Fonatur reached an agreement to occupy 39.7 kilometers with ejido groups from Izamal (Xanabá) and paid 9 million 343 thousand pesos. The occupation is the first step towards expropriation, which will be finalized later. According to this agreement, the ejido received 23 pesos and 53 cents per square meter.
The coordinator of the train in Yucatán, Aarón Rosado Castillo, said that the train project will detonate the provision of services, digital connectivity with the installation of fiber optics on the fast railroad route and together with development programs, whose names are not yet known, will detonate a better quality of life for the inhabitants of the communities.
Although an effort is being made for the benefits to reach the entire southeast, in real terms, the project will have a major impact on Quintana Roo, both in terms of the probable increase in the number of tourists and economic spillover.
From the perspective of UN Habitat, the southeast is already on the international radar as a result of the Tren Maya and it is estimated that, when implemented, it will help alleviate poverty and increase economic growth by more than 2% in the region.
It is also expected to increase tourist spending from 1,600 pesos to 1,900 pesos per capita per day and tourism would grow from 1.5 million to 2 million per year.
According to the federal government’s plans, “the Mayan Train will contribute to reducing poverty among the inhabitants of the southeast and at no time will it illegally affect the ejidos, nor will it harm the environment”
The greatest advantage, as can be seen, would be obtained by Quintana Roo. Fonatur’s representative in that state, Lilia González Moreno, admitted that the state shows a clear inequality between the north and the south. The north receives 95% of tourists (15 million foreigners per year) and the south 5%. For this reason, the Mayan Train would pass through the south with the clear intention of seeking an economic balance between both areas of Quintana Roo.
To improve the environment, Fonatur is already working on the planting of 21 thousand trees and will continue with the reforestation plan and reconnection of jungle areas on highways and wildlife rescue drills.
In Campeche. Fonatur considers that Escarcega will be “the heart” of the Mayan Train because it will be the link of the southeast circuit with the 500 kilometers of railroads to promote tourism, urban growth, housing and the well-being of the people.
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