Indigenous groups reject Maya Train (Tren Maya) plan and vote

This map shows Tren Maya’s stations in Chiapas, Tabasco and on the Yucatán Peninsula.

By: Luis A. Boffil Gómez

Mérida, Yucatán

More than 80 indigenous groupings are opposed to the Tren Maya (Maya Train) that president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador promotes, because they consider that it will not bring and benefits for the zone’s natives, and the rejected the national “consulta” (vote) regarding it.

In a communiqué, they repudiated the vote foreseen for November 24 and 25 [1] about the Maya Train and other initiatives of the next government. “That no person outside the Yucatán Peninsula may seek to decide what can be done or not be done in our territories, just as we will never attempt to decide what will be done with their property, rights and possessions. A real consultation for the indigenous peoples must comply with the guiding principles: prior, free, informed, in good faith and culturally adequate,” they indicated.

They emphasized that during the Enrique Peña Nieto government they followed the Maya Train megaproject “and from that moment we disapproved of it, disliked it, because it violates the indigenous rights of which we are subjects and are consecrated in our Political Constitution.”

They hoped, they added, “that with the change of administration the indigenous communities would be visible to the Federation and that it would reconsider the ways for attempting to put the Maya Train megaproject into effect, but we realize with displeasure that in the new administration the story will not change and the justice expected will not come to the indigenous peoples of Mexico.”

They assured that the work has already started, “and proof of that is that they already have budgets, bids, designs and even a start date, and no one has agreed to absolutely anything with us.

“The Maya Train mega-project will not bring us benefits of regional development, it is not planned for us, the common people; it’s a tourist project that will only benefit the rich and the foreigners. We, owners of the lands, will only see it pass since stations are not contemplated in most of our towns, and are only considered for points of tourist interest that big capital has already captured.”

Among the signers are the Regional Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil, Collective of Maya Communities of Los Chenes, Muuch Kambal, Conhuas Ejido, Calakmul and the Indigenous Collective of Halachó.

[1] The results of the Consulta will be announced later today, November 26, 2018.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Thursday, November 22, 2018

-*- -*-  -*-

And, check out this article below!

Despite rejection, López Obrador announces that construction of the Maya Train (Tren Maya) will begin on December 16

Published by Chiapas Paralelo

*This project has an estimated completion of four years.

President elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared that construction will begin December 16 with a public budget of 6 billion pesos, but before that, they will hold a consultation to know the opinion of the citizenry, according to what Animal Político published.

López Obrador visited Mérida, Yucatán at a meeting with governors involved in the Maya Train’s trajectory. Among those present were the governor-elect of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, and the ex-governor, interim governor and senator for Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello.

The work will start on December 16 with an inaugural ceremony in Palenque, Chiapas.

Said train would have a route in Cancún-Tulum-Bacalar-Xpuilt-Escárcega-Candelaria-Palenque. On the other hand, with the extension the new route would be Palenque-Candelaria-Escárcega-Campeche-Mérida-Valladolid-Cancún.

However, López Obrador announced that on November 24 and 25 a vote will be held about the project in order to know the citizens’ opinion, although, he didn’t explain if the result would influence continuing the project.

“This month we are going to carry out a wide-ranging citizen consultation (vote) to ask Mexicans, not only inhabitants of the southeast, but all Mexicans for their opinion on this Maya Train project,” López Obrador said.

 The consultation

Rogelio Jiménez Pons, AMLO’s designee as the next director of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), detailed that the first work on the Maya Train would be to open the passage for fauna and complementary infrastructure.

Pons explained that the project would try not to displace people from their communities, to the contrary, they will seek that they participate in the project.

He also affirmed that the vote would be held in the native languages of the zones involved. With respect to the national vote, he did not give more details, the news outlet reported.

The Maya Train could travel up to a speed of 150 kilometers per hour, according to Rogelio Jiménez Pons’ predictions.

The supposed “acceptance” of the peoples 

The president-elect declared in September that communities, ejidos and small property owners accepted the execution of the Maya-Peninsular Train project; however, he did not say which ones, or how and when they were consulted.

According to information from the newspaper Reforma, AMLO would have assured: “there are already consultations, the people want this for the southeast, because, if we look at the map, in the last 30 years development has centered on the Riviera Maya and the rest of the southeast remained abandoned.” He said this without delving into the way in which citizens close to the project were informed.

In August, Subcomandante Galeano (formerly Marcos) of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) said that the principal projects of López Obrador are going to destroy the territories of the original peoples: the million hectares in the Lacandón, the Maya Train, or the corridor on the Isthmus that they want to make, among others.

In that regard, the National Network of Civilian and Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (RedTDT), which carries out projects in the zone without a process of free, prior and informed consent and consultation said that the Maya Train project repeats the same model of imposition and discrimination.

The Civil Society Organization Las Abejas of Acteal communicated that in the Andrés Manuel López Obrador government, the policy of looting and destruction of territories will continue, because the Maya Train project represents a project that destroys Mother Earth.

The Maya Train has an estimated route of 2400 kilometers in the Mexican southeast, 42 kilometers of them through Chiapas. AMLO said that the road that is already built on the limits between Chiapas and Tabasco would be enabled. This stretch is also used by thousands of migrants seeking to reach the United States.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


2 Comments on “Indigenous groups reject Maya Train (Tren Maya) plan and vote

  1. Pingback: MEXICO AND THE EZLN – WHERE ARE THEY TODAY? | The Norwich Radical

  2. Pingback: EZLN warns Zapatistas will not permit ‘Maya Train’ mega Rail project – The Free

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: