Protesters show up at informative public meeting regarding the Maya Train Project in Mérida

(Photo: La Jornada Maya)

On Friday, May 13th, civil groups, activists, and the general public met in the Plaza Grande of the city of Mérida to hold an information meeting regarding the Maya Train so that citizens are aware of the legal processes and the negative environmental impacts of this project.

During the peaceful concentration for informational purposes, the attendees placed a clothesline in the square with information related to the project where they expressed their rejection.

A total of 4,869 people participated in the informative assemblies, while 5,436 people participated in the consultative assemblies.

“This tendency to strengthen the tourism growth model is going to cause an unstoppable operation of real estate speculation that is not only going to stimulate an aggressive process of appropriation of land, dispossession, and displacement of native residents. It will also threaten water sources that would be used by tourist centers as well as by the livestock and agribusiness industries, they are going to kill the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula” an anonymous protester said.

 

Miguel Anguas, a member of the Kanan Human Rights group, said that there are currently more than 35 protection claims in the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo, that question various aspects of the project, which, according to what he explained, does not offer clear information

“There is no scientifically sustained environmental study of this project whatsoever”, Anguas said.

“It has been sold as a territorial reorganization project, it is not just a train and some tracks, but it is a project that will bring industrialization, and mass tourism, which will cause negative impacts on the Maya indigenous communities and the environment,” he continued.

The activist stated that he thinks that the collegiate courts and tribunals have had an agreement with the Executive Power to deny suspensions and protection measures for the people who demand that they be offered complete information about this project.

He recalled that last year the federal government approved a presidential agreement by which it states that in any projects classified as national security, the government is free to reserve all information about the works, including the environmental impact studies.

“This decree allows the arbitrary imposition of the Maya Train Project,” he said.

In addition, this decree allowed the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) to issue provisional permits so that the train can operate even without environmental impact studies.

Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, a member of the Communist Party of Mexico said: “This train pursues the interests of the capitalists, to transport what the capitalists are interested in. With this project, more foreign companies will arrive in the region”.

“Capitalism destroys ancestral forms of life and this is what the Maya Train is bringing to the Peninsula… It is not at the service of the people or the working class, it is at the service of the new oligarchy conformed by Lopez Obrador, his family and his closest circle” Neftalí Reyes Basoalto concluded.

The Yucatan Times
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