Environmental, indigenous and civil organizations have asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to take precautionary measures to “avoid irreparable damage” to the underground aquifer of the Yucatan Peninsula, southeast of Mexico, in the face of possible damage that the construction of the megaproject would cause. of the Maya Train ,.
They added that the aquifer is an “indispensable element” of the territories and main source of water supply for the population and communities of the Mayan people.
Therefore, in application of the precautionary principle in environmental matters, they requested that the Mexican State refrain from building the Maya Train for the “serious and irreparable damage that this might cause to the aquifer.”
In a statement published this Sunday, the Assembly of Defenders of the Maya Territory Múuch Xíinbal and the Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Forestry, indicated that the construction of the Maya Train “will affect the cenote system”, on which the right to water depends, to a healthy environment and the development of a life worthy of the Mayan peoples of the peninsula
The 1,475-kilometer-long railroad megaproject, which will cross five entities in southeastern Mexico, is, together with the Santa Lucía Airport in the State of Mexico and the Dos Bocas Refinery, in Tabasco, the flagship infrastructure projects of the Government of the President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Given the progress of the project, which already has three stretches tendered and with a date to start construction, on May 25, the organizations requested, on Saturday, May 16, the intervention of the IACHR.
The request was presented because the start of construction “threatens to intensify the already vulnerable environmental situation of the cenote system”, since many years before, the Mexican State “has allowed, tolerated and participated in its deterioration” being a promoter from the development of tourist, real estate and agro-industrial megaprojects that use and pollute its waters in the mentioned peninsula that make up the states of Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo.
The organizations pointed out that the Mexican authorities of the three levels of government in these entities “have failed to ensure adequate and sufficient infrastructure for the treatment of wastewater and the management of solid waste.”
In addition to having granted concessions for water loading and unloading that are operated without control, prevention or mitigation measures, endangering the historical, identity and cultural heritage of the Mayan peoples, as well as their health and lives.
The Government of Mexico has said that the work will have a total investment of about 120,000 million pesos (about 5 billion dollars) to start operations in 2024 on 951 kilometers in five states in the southeast.
The controversy over the construction of this project, which began this month, has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, which in Mexico accumulates more than 47,000 infections and more than 5,000 deaths.
Although the government suspended non-essential activities in the economy by declaring a health emergency on March 30, it later adjusted the decree to continue the construction of its priority works, such as the Maya Train and the Dos Bocas refinery.
The Mexican president has defended the work by considering it part of his plan to create 2 million jobs this year in the face of the crisis and has said that it could trigger the generation of us 100,000 jobs.