Indigenous communities stop work on the Maya Train

The archaeological site of Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico.

By: Luis A. Boffil, Lorenzo Chim, César Arellano and Julio Reyna

The Indigenous and Popular Regional Council of Xpujil (Cripx) reported yesterday that indigenous communities belonging to the Peninsular Maya and Chol peoples, settled in Xpujil, municipality of Calakmul, Campeche, obtained a “provisional suspension” of the execution of the Maya Train project, which would imply stopping the bidding process on stretches initiated in the first week of January, until resolving the final suspension.

In its ruling, the first district court in Campeche agreed to concede the provisional suspension “so that things are maintained in the state in which they are found, so that the responsible authorities, independently of the result of the consultation carried out in relation to the so-called Maya Train, abstain from decreeing the approval of said project, or, upon said approval having been decreed, abstain from carrying out acts extending to the execution of said project,” until the definitive suspension is resolved.

At a press conference held yesterday in Mérida, Yucatán, Cripx representatives explained that the lawsuit points out as responsible authorities the president of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador; the director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur, its Spanish acronym), Rogelio Jiménez Pons; the Interior Minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, and the Director General of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, Adelfo Regino Montes.

The resolution

In file 12/2020 VI B, the same first district court informs the aforementioned authorities that as to the indigenous consultation, the day of citizen participative voting, ordered by the federal Executive, and the approval of the development project named the Maya Train, “the provisional suspension of the act complained of is denied, based on article 107, section X, of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.”

In its request for a restraining order (amparo), presented January 6, 2020, the Cripx had argued that reclama “the simulated and fraudulent indigenous consultation ordered by the federal Executive and executed to the detriment of the indigenous peoples of Campeche, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Chiapas,” as well as the “illegal consultation and approval of the project named the Maya Train, whose action was carried out in flagrant violation of our human right that guarantees a prior free, informed, good faith and culturally adequate consultation.

“In the amparo we denounce that the consultation process was carried out without complying with international standards that established in Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, of the International Labor Organization (ILO), of which the Mexican State is a part, as well as in contravention of what the Inter-American Court on Human Rights points out”.

The official response

However, the Fonatur, in charge of the construction of the Maya Train, denied the existence of a federal court order to temporarily stop the los bidding and construction processes of the railroad project.

After the announcement of the Cripx, Fonatur explained that there is a request for a restraining order promoted by Ernesto Martínez Jiménez in the first district court of Campeche under the number 12/2020, in which it points to as the “act complained of” last December’s indigenous consultation.

Martínez Jiménez is a member of the Cripx and also of the Frente Peninsular Front for Life and Jungle.

In the record, the provisional suspension Martínez Jiménez requested is denied and Fonatur has not been notified of “any suspension,” said Fonatur.

On January 10, the Fonatur issued the bases for bidding on two stretches of the train’s route that include executive projects, supply of materials and construction of platforms and tracks. Last week it convened a workshop aimed at companies interested in the bidding process and launched two new bases for both sections of the project. The workshop reached out to almost 90 construction companies.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2020/01/29/politica/006n1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

 

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