By: Angélica Enciso L. and Jared Laureles
The fourth district court seated in Yucatán granted three new provisional suspensions against the Maya Train in the state, which prevents federal authorities from continuing construction work on Section 3 of the new project until the definitive suspension is resolved.
The Múuch’ Xíinbal Assembly of Defenders of Maya Territory and the Chuun t’aan Maya Collective, as well as the legal team from Indignation, Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (Indignation), reported that the three suspensions (amparos) that indigenous Mayas from 40 Yucatán communities filed challenge the constitutionality of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) approved by the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat, its Spanish acronym), in favor of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism for the project’s construction.
In a videoconference, José Orvelín Montiel Cortés, a lawyer with Indignation, pointed out that the arguments outlined in the appeals for suspension –presented last January 20– maintain that the right to information was violated, since “the indigenous communities had no access at any time to the studies derived from the EIS” and with that se “the right to adequate participation” was violated. At the same time, he argued to the judicial authority about the omission of holding a regional environmental evaluation that includes the study of the project’s impacts in a comprehensive and not a fractured way.
Faced with these violations, the fourth district judge considered that the approval of the EIS “implies a preponderant risk” to the environment of the communities and to future generations for the damages that construction of the Maya Train may cause, Montiel Cortés said.
These resolutions, he specified, are added to the other five already granted to different communities on the [Yucatan] Peninsula. In Chiapas, there are two suspensions, but only one with a definitive suspension. In Campeche, there are three suspensions with two being provisional and one definitive. In the case of Yucatan, there are five suspensions with four provisional suspensions, as well as two cases that were turned over to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.
Jorge Fernández Mendiburu, also a lawyer with Indignation, warned that despite the provisional suspensions, the construction work continues, with “the argument that they are carrying out maintenance on the tracks,” because of which he made a call to the judges to pay attention to these facts, because by not respecting the resolutions “it would be a simulation.”
Thursday, February 18, 2021
(See 2nd article below)
YUCATAN JUDGE GRANTS DEFINITIVE SUSPENSION of WORK ON MAYA TRAIN
By: César Arellano García
The third district court seated in Yucatán granted the definitive suspension of construction on Phase 1 the Maya Train to residents of the municipalities of Chocholá, Mérida and Izamal.
The ruling orders federal authorities to abstain from continuing work and initiating new construction related to the project, while it is resolved whether or not they grant protection to the residents. However, the resolution can be challenged so that the case is appealed to a collegiate court.
In that regard, the Kanan Human Rights Collective recalled that the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), through the General Directorate of Environmental Impact and Risk, held a consultation in July 2020 in which some people detected the omission in certain annexes related to the report presented in the environmental impact statement of the Maya Train project in its phase 1, and given those irregularities, they initiated the case for a suspension.
In a communication, the organization pointed out that last January 21 Judge Karla Domínguez Aguilar, head of the third district court based in Yucatán, granted the provisional suspension in which she prohibited the execution of new work on the project.
This definitive suspension is very important to the activists, since with it residents of that area will be able to demand the right to have public information and obtain a favorable ruling that can be materialized. “It’s important that the project be stopped to prevent irreparable harm to the rights of all people, especially to public participation, active transparency and a healthy environment.”
Last week the fourth district court in Yucatán granted three new provisional suspensions to members of the Múuch’ Xíinbal Assembly of Defenders of Maya Territory and the Chuun t’aan Maya Collective against construction of the railroad.
The collectives also challenged the approval of the environmental impact statement that the Semarnat granted to the National Fund for Promoting Tourism (Fonatur, its Spanish acronym).
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee