By: Alma E. Muñoz
President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador received support from the governors of the southeast states for executing the Maya Train  project in the region, thus detonating its development. With this work, which will begin in Chiapas and Tabasco with a budget of 16 billion pesos in 2019, the next government will stimulate tourism, create jobs and even try to stop migration.
“With this project we are going to respond to the economic and social needs that the inhabitants of the southeast have. We are going to confront the paradox that the states of the southeast are rich in economic and cultural potential, (but) their peoples are poor,” the next head of the federal Executive explained.
After a private meeting with the governors of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco; of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquín González; of Tabasco, Arturo Núñez, and of Campeche, Alejandro Moreno, at a Palenque archaeological zone hotel, the latter pointed out that this opens a new opportunity for the Maya World.
“It is a great project that arrives in time, in form and at a moment, and we will have to assume our responsibility to decidedly start on December 1 with the formal commitment of supporting this work,” Moreno emphasized.
All those who are here, he maintained, “have reaffirmed our commitment to seeing it as an integral project of the government of the Republic and the five states” of the region –the state of Yucatán is in addition to those states mentioned, whose governor, Rolando Zapata, sent a representative to this Sunday’s meeting.
At the end of the meeting, which the governors-elect of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón, and of Tabasco, Adán Augusto López, also attended, as well as members of the next cabinet, López Obrador ratified that the work will have both public and private investment –national and foreign– of between 120 and 150 billion pesos, and will be finished in no more than four years.
He thanked the governors for their support of this project that, he asserted, is one of nation.
He stressed that they have practically resolved everything related to the right of way, because for half of the 1,500 kilometer trajectory they will use the Palenque-Valladolid road, which the Secretariat of Communications administers; the electric lines, in charge of the Federal Electricity Commission, and the highway network.
He said that along the route, the next government will implement a reforestation program, with the planting of 50,000 hectares of fruit and timber trees , which will give jobs to 20,000 campesinos, ejido members and small communal farmers next year.
He also announced that there would be fiscal facilities for investors, and that regional transportation will have the lowest price.
The president-elect said that the outgoing governors of Chiapas and Tabasco would elaborate the basis of the bidding to initiate the works at the start of the next government, and that it will be the responsibility of their successors to inaugurate the train. He emphasized that he will personally supervise the work, so that it is not delayed.
Rogelio Jiménez Pons, next director of the National Fund for Promoting Tourism, explained that the train, which will be for both passengers and freight, is a project on which they have worked since two years ago.
The project is considering 17 stations for the route: Palenque, Tenosique, Escárcega, Calakmul, Xpujil, Bacalar, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Cancún, Valladolid, Chichén Itzá, Izamal, Mérida, Maxcanú and Campeche.
In one month, López Obrador will again meet with the governors of the southeast, in Campeche.
On the other hand, the president-elect also met with the coordinators of the program for planting of one million hectares in Chiapas, who he asked not to allow pressuring on behalf of group interests that seek to benefit from the project.
“We are not going to allow threats, that has to change. We don’t want intermediaries in the delivery of resources; we want the support to arrive directly to the people,” he said.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Monday, September 10, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee