On April 30th, the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (FONATUR in its Spanish acronym) published the bidding rules for the contracting of services for the basic engineering of the Maya Train, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government project that will connect several tourist sites of the southeast of the country. The tender published in Compranet is national and aims to contract the basic engineering of the seven railway sections that make up the 1,525 km of the project, Fonatur said.
It was opened without having carried out an environmental impact study or consultations with nearby indigenous populations as proposed by both national legislation and several other international treaties signed by Mexico, including Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In press conference, AMLO affirmed, however, that it is valid to begin this process, without taking into account these factors. He declared “that there is no problem because citizens want the train to be built” and that “of course there is dissidence and it must be respected, but in democracy it is the majority that decides, minorities are respected, but it is the majority opinion that should have the ability to decide at the end. That is what is being done”, he emphasized. In this same conference, AMLO also explained that the Maya Train, the Trans-isthmus corridor, among other “regional development projects” will serve as “curtains” to “capture the migratory flow in transit” to the United States and “anchor those fleeing from the poverty” in these regions.
A week before, Josefa Gonzalez Blanco, head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT in its Spanish acronym) acknowledged that the projects of the Mayan Train, the Trans-isthmus Train, the Dos Bocas Refinery in Tabasco and the New Mexico International Airport in Santa Lucia, still do not have environmental impact studies.
For more information in Spanish:
Fonatur lanza licitación para diseño del Tren Maya (La Jornada, 30 de abril de 2019)
Válido proceso de licitación aún sin consulta : AMLO (El Universal, 1ero de mayo de 2019)
AMLO defiende licitación del Tren Maya sin consultar a pueblos indígenas (El Sol de México, 1ero de mayo de 2019)
Abren licitación del tren maya, sin previa consulta a pueblos indígenas (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de mayo de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13th, 2018)
National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14th, 2018)