Statement of Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train

[Admin: The Sexta Grietas Network circulated this statement and asked for signatures. We reproduce it below with the signatures obtained.]

Maya Train | Tren Maya

Statement of Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train, a Megaproject of Death

Traducción en español

Traduction française

April 15, 2020

We salute the efforts of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX – Consejo Indígena y Popular de Xpujil) and congratulate them on their success in obtaining a halt on the construction of the train megaproject in the Campeche corridor. This is a great achievement, especially in these times when governments are taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to further their agendas, and are attacking resistances and rebellions in Mexico and other parts of the world. We know the struggle has only begun, and we support and encourage continuing efforts to halt construction of the whole train megaproject permanently. This is far from over, as the government is determined to enforce this megaproject, which will bring great benefits to the capitalists who run the country at great costs to human life and the environment.

We denounce the ongoing attempts to threaten, intimidate, and pressure those who are fighting to prevent the construction of the so-called “Maya Train” and, in particular, our brothers and sister members of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil, who have been risking their lives and livelihoods to fight this megaproject of death.

The so-called “Maya Train” project will transport 600,000 – 800,000 new tourists a year to the Yucatán Peninsula. In deceptive and authoritarian “consultations,” the government pretends to inform and consult with local populations about the effects of the project, claiming it is a “development” project that will bring benefits to the poor and indigenous people of the area: jobs, modern infrastructure, business opportunities.

In fact, the truth is just the opposite. Such were the conclusions of, among many, the National Council on Science and Technology, an independent federal body commissioned to advise the Mexican government on public policies related to science and technological development. This study, delivered to the government at the beginning of December but not released to the public until March (well after the consultation process), concluded that the train megaproject would have severe negative impacts, including:

  • destruction of 10 national protected areas that provide environmental benefits such as recharging aquifers and carbon capture (that mitigate damage from global warming)
  • irreversible negative impacts on the territory that will be appropriated for the project
  • the violation of rights of 146,000 indigenous people living in the area
  • jobs that would be temporary and precarious
  • an increase in violence related to drug trade and human trafficking

The study was suppressed by the government until after the consultation process was complete so that people would not learn of the dangers of the train megaproject.

This study confirms what many others have argued and what we have known all along: this megaproject of death is a capitalist dream that will lead to dispossession, displacement, and deterioration of the lives of local people who live along the route: homes, farming communities, small commercial enterprises and businesses, including sustainable ecotourist enterprises. It will threaten the largest remaining rainforest in Mesoamerica, the Calakmul Reserve, considered to be second only to the Amazon in its production of oxygen, as well as the mangroves of Bacalar, one of the most significant areas of mangroves in the world (see the CONACYT report “Maya Territories in the Train’s Path: Current Situation and Foreseeable Risks” [Spanish]).

The project will benefit the engineering and construction corporations who will get fat contracts, as well as the hotel chains and international tourist corporations and rich entrepreneurs who have the funds to set up shop and who know whose palms to grease. It will benefit the government functionaries who will receive bribes and kickbacks from the capitalists. It will benefit the extractive industries, whose projects will inevitably follow in the wake of the train, once the area has been softened up to their invasion with transportation facilities, infrastructure, and the installation of military and paramilitary “security” forces to protect their investments, and once the vibrant opposition to megaprojects, always an obstacle to extractive capitalism, has been silenced.

We need only to look at the so-called Mayan Riviera, in northeastern Yucatan, to see the effects that massive tourist projects have on people and their environment. While the rich bathe in pristine swimming pools, lounge on the beach and in fancy bars enjoying exotic cocktails and gourmet meals, the poor who serve them earn miserable wages (many make the minimum wage of $7 a day) and tens of thousands of underemployed and unemployed ring the area in poor shanty towns that surround the tourist resorts. These servants include farmers who have been dispossessed or who can no longer survive on their lands, in many cases due to decline in available water. The abundance of retail outlets and restaurants who profit in these tourist areas are owned by the wealthy elite, often foreigners, who had the money to invest in the luxurious standards the tourists prefer—the streets of Cancun are lined with foreign chain stores. The beaches, once pristine and full of fish, are polluted. Hundreds of thousands of tons of garbage created by the tourists pollute the water, spill into the ocean and fester in overfilled landfill sites near the homes of the poor. Water, stolen from indigenous farmlands, is recklessly squandered. This is the pattern of “development” that can be seen in the fancy resort areas all over Mexico—a devastating and unsustainable tourist industry that is now collapsing in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. The Mexican government reports that Cancún is abandoned: only 7% of its about 90,000 hotel rooms are occupied, while 60,000 workers have been laid off in the state of Quintana Roo, representing about 40% of the workforce (see Proceso March 2020 and INEGI Report 2016). The poor and underserved workers of the hotel zones, like the poor and underserved all over the world, will bear the brunt of the epidemic, while the capitalist overlords will find other ways to profit. In the midst of this crisis, the government continues to move the project forward, announcing on April 1 that it is reviewing proposals from 14 consortiums (owned by Carlos Slim, the richest man in Mexico and one the richest men in the world, and by Chinese multinationals) for constructing the first phase of the train, which it insists will begin April 30th and will cost the government between 12 and 22 billion Mexican pesos (600 million to over a billion USD).

We, the undersigned, denounce this project, and demand its immediate halt: for the benefit of the local population, for the campesinos, for Mother Earth, and for humanity itself. We stand with all people who are fighting to preserve sustainable livelihoods, and especially originary peoples who are fighting to preserve their history and identity and their ancestral lands. We must protect all that remains of these sacred environments and resources for future generations to have a chance to survive against the civilization of death.

Signatories,

Chiapas Support Committee, Oakland, California

Cassidy Regan, Mannahatta, Lenni Lenape territory

Silvia Federici, Brooklyn, NY

War Resisters League

Raices sin Fronteras, San Diego California

Dr. Carol J Manahan, California

Charlotte Saenz, Core Faculty, California Institute of Integral Studies

Rei Terada, Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Irvine

Stellan Vinthagen, Endowed Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA Donald Monty Neill, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Sallyann Stoddard, Northeastern USA

Bruce Fleischer, Boston Ma.

Alptekin Aydogan, USA

Joseph Bender, Living in Ramaytush territory, also known as San Francisco

Mary Landale, Massachusetts, USA

Patricia Sullivan, Washington State

Farah Khimji, New York City
Kirsty Singer, University of California, Irvine
, Gabriella Melis, Italy, 
Kristian Vasquez, Chumash territory, 
Carla Belinda Margarita Orendorff, Los Angeles, CA, US/Cochabamba, Bolivia, 
Hélène Miesseroff, French writer
María Estela Barco
Louis-Georges Schwartz, Athens, oh
Chris Carlsson, Shaping San Francisco
Alain Chaillat, France
, Kate Keller, Montana
John Wolverton, Missoula, Montana, USA
Linda Quiquivix, Chumash Territory (Oxnard, California)
Kirsty Singer University of California, Irvine
Peter Rosset, Chiapas
Hormigas Autonomas y Rebeldes, San Diego – Territorio Kumeeai
LIES Journal Collective
Willow Hill, United States
Cindy Gao, New York City, NY
Ellen Elster, Oslo, Norway
Lauren Johnson, Canada
Wesley Carrasco, ECLF-Los Angeles
Matthew de la Torre
Julio Rodriguez, Sylmar (community in Los Angeles), California
Child Welfare Nepal Chairperson
Ambazonia Prisoners of Conscience Support Network (APoCsnet) Global Solidarity Network
Joris Leverin, Managing editor, ROAR Magazine
Julia Thomas, Journalist
Andrea Perez, Osceola Consulting, GIS Researcher
Renee Delia Reyes NYC, NY
Andrew J Padilla East Harlem (El Barrio), NYC
Daisy Bugarin, Lenape Territory (NYC, NY)
Tahesha Knapp-Christensen, Protect the Long Beach/LosCerritos Wetlands
Anya Briy, NYC, NY
Daniel Brown, Peckham, London, UK
Chichihualli Lactation, Lactation Educator and Community Advocate
Gema Limeta, Tongva territory ( Los Angeles, CA)
Inmigrantes Unidos NC
Alfonso Garcia Guerrero
Kiana Martinez
Janet Campos,LCSW-Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Lauren Reese
Aurialís Alvarez, Boston, MA
Rosa Barajas, California
Malú Huacuja del Toro Nueva York
Semillas Collective New York City, Estados Unidos
Alma Sánchez, Morelos
Red de Rebeldía y Resistrenzas, Ciudad de Puebla, Puebla
Movimiento de Mujeres de Kurdistán, America Latina,Kurdistán
Cecilia Vázquez Ahumada, Puebla, México
Eli García Padilla, Oaxaca
María Matilde Salazar Rodriguez,Cd. de Chihuahua, Chih. México
Jorge Emilio Villa del Ángel Name, Cdmx
Pamela, CDMX
Sergio Moreno, CDMX
David lozano Tovar, CDMX
Santiago López Martínez, CDMX
Cynthia Chiang, Cdmx
Stephania Sánchez, Estado de México
Jorge Castillo Canizáles, CDMX
Alondra Campos, Jalisco Mexico
Luis González Lozano, San Luis Potosí
Alina, CDMX
Karla González Ramírez
Montserrat Hernández, CDMX
Patricia Ailyn Garrido, CDMX
Samantha Sánchez, Edo. De México
Sara Sánchez, San Luis Potosí
Aranza Tinajero, CDMX
Gala Alejandra García Ruiz, Cdmx
Naayeli Ramírez Espinosa, Peninsula de Yucatan
Huizache Badillo, CDMX
Martin Mantxo, A Planeta (Euskal Herria/País Vasco)
Agrupación por la memoria histórica Providencia Antofagasta, Antofagasta Chile
Carmen Manuela Delcid, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Colectivo de Coordinación de Acciones Socio Ambientales (Colectivo CASA), Oruro-Bolivia
David Pierre, Haiti
Hermanas de la Misericordia, Hermanas CCASA, América Latina
Martín López Gallegos, Profesor Adj. en la Facultad de Economía, UNAM
La Casa del Centro, Gilberto y Patricia Z, Tijuana BC Mexico
Kurt McLean, Occupied Kumeyaay/Kumiay lands of San Diego/Tijuana
Red de resistencias y rebeldías en Tijuana
Mathilde, Francia
Diana Laura Corona Hernández, México
Fátima Rubio Moreno, Lic. Turismo Internacional
Brittney López Hampton Coleman
Colectivo Acción Solidaria con México, Viena, Austria.
Asociación medioambiental Colibrí ecosocial, CHILE
Xilone Purepecha Nation/ White Mountain Apache, California US
Rosángela Pérez Mendoza, Docente Tutora Investigadora, Lic. en Artes Visuales
Rebelión, México
Coordinadora de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Oriente del Estado de México en Defensa de la Tierra, el Agua y su Cultura (CPOOEM), México
Alejandra Sánchez, Ciudadana Mexicana
TONATIERRA (Phoenix, Arizona)
Manuel May Castillo Dr., Universidad de Munich, Alemania
Ianci Balam, Ejido Jacinto Pat
Roberto Cuevas
Ramon Aguilera, Puerto Morelos
Stephanie Smiley, USA
Enicia, San Miguel de Allende
María salas, CdMx
Adriana Martinez,Playa del carmen
Asamblea Maseual Autonoma del Agua de Cuetzalan, Pueblo Originario Maseual de Cuetzalan
Guardia Comunitaria Indigena de San Andres Tzicuilan Cuetzalan, Pueblo Originario Maseual de Cuetzalan
Erwin Slim Torres, Fundador del Ordenamiento Territorial Integral de Cuetzalan. Asesor del movimiento
Indígena en contra de los Proyectos de Muerte.
Ivone Alatrist,HOUSTON TX
CONRADO Alba Brunet
arnoldo colibrí, el Chiapas Support Committee, territorio Ohlone
Maria Antonieta Bocanegra Aguilar, Felipe Carillo Puerto
Ines Duran Matute, México
Hortencia Ramirez Campos, Amatlán de Quetzalcoatl, Morelos México
Rocío Servin Jiménez, Universidad de Guanajuato,
Guadalupe Meza Lavaniegos,Socio pedagoga en Guanajuato
La Ezkina, Tijuana, BC
Edgar Fernando Fernández Villa, Psicólogo educativo
Ignacio Muñoz, Movimiento de Pobladorxs en Lucha (Chile)
Red de Resistencia y Rebeldia en apoyo al CIG-CNI del Puerto de Veracruz, Puerto de Veracruz
Montserrat Díaz Romero, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia
José Cándido Guzmán Sánchez, UABC, Estudiante a Licenciatura en Economía, Tijuana
Centro de Investigación Escénica El Teatrito, Mérida Yucatán
Mexicali Resiste, Mexicali
Teresa González Molina, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
Alicia Dorantes Camacho, Cuernavaca Morelos
Alejandra Vargas, Colectivo Casa Creación,México
Guillermo Villalobos Rojo, Frente Social de Trabajadores Independientes, mx
Marcela Jiménez, Cancun Mexico
Ass. Solidaria Cafè Rebeldía-Infoespai rebeldia, Barcelona, Catalunya
MutVitz13 – Marsella, Francia
Natanael Murillo Calvo, CDMX
Matilde Ortuño Vilchis, Estado de México
Rocío Servin Jiménez, Universidad de Guanajuato
Espiral de solidaridad-semilla de resistencia, Grecia
Asamblea Libertaria Autoorganizada Paliacate Zapatista, Grecia
Espoir chiapas
Comite de Solidaridad con los Pueblos Indigenas de las Americas (CSIA-Nitassinan), Paris, Francia
Jazz Diaz,Merced (Central Valley) California
Ian Murphy, University of San Francisco
Eleanor Finley, UMass Amherst Anthropology Department
Colectivo Transdisciplinario de Investigaciones Críticas, México
Francisco De Parres Antropólogo / Fotógrafo
East Coast Chiapas Solidarity Committee
Karen Lopez Circulo de Promotoras de Salud Tradicional, California
Elena Ortega
Tiziana, Italy
Berenice Perez
Daniel Farber
Autonomous Brown Beret, Sabrina Chapa, New York City, Lenapehoking
Matt Yamashita, Sustainable Molokai, Hawaii
Misael Calderon, Building Engineer
WESPAC Foundation Westchester County, New York
Sadie heald, Harrison, NY
Mercy Verdugo, Laboratorio de Arte Atelier
Douglass DeCandia
Luis Tinoco Torrejon, Belgium
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ,) Westchester, Turtle Island, original territory of Lenni Lenape Peoples [Westchester County, New York, USA]
Dr. Damaris Calderón Alcalán Directora Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, (ELAM), Cuba
Eagle and the Condor Liberation Front Tongva territories, Los Angeles, California
Building Bridges Human Rights, Vancouver Collective
Adriana Diego, Oxnard, CA
Issa Estelle Occupied Kumeyaay, San Diego, California
Ary Amaya
Sarah Valdez, Tongva Teritory (Los Angeles)
Théo Marcos, Francia
colectivo Ramonara, Chipre
Red Ya Basta, Alemania
Mut-Vitz Colectivo, (Francia)
Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments on “Statement of Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train

  1. Please add our name, Fuerza Mundial Global, in Solidarity with opposition to Mayan Train. Thank you for your work.Gracias. Dorinda Moreno, California; Statement of Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train, a Megaproject of Death. April 15, 2020
    We salute the efforts of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX – Consejo Indígena y Popular

  2. Pingback: Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train – The Free

  3. Pingback: Zapatista News & Analysis | Blog of Zapatista Support Group Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand

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