On December 15th, the Indigenous Consultation on the Maya Train ended and according to the authorities the participants in it approved the megaproject “by consensus and without opinion against”.
The Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) reported that 93,000 participants of the consultation voted in favor of the Mayan Train, while 7,500 participants voted against it. 268 tables were installed in the five states through which the Train will pass: Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas. According Proceso magazine, the people who went to the polls only represent 2.6% of the electoral register of the 84 municipalities where the consultation was carried out.
At a press conference, AMLO noted that 30 assemblies were held in November and December with indigenous communities. He said that “in a dialogue with the government of Mexico, [the participants of the consultation] also agreed that their proposals and needs be incorporated and addressed in this project that aims to trigger the sustainable development of the Yucatan Peninsula.”
The consultation took place between November 15th and December 15th. That was approximately one year after a first consultation on the same project, which was criticized for not complying with Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), an international agreement ratified by the Mexican government, which among other elements, raises what an indigenous consultation should consist of.
The second consultation has also been criticized by several indigenous and civil organizations, also for not complying with Convention 169, specifically for not being free, informed, or prior. A document that was circulated in some of the spaces of the consultation, and signed by participants stated that [the consultation is] “violating the Previous principle and also violating the principle of Good Faith because it simulates that it is an ‘indigenous consultation’… ” The announcement was published less than a week in advance to initiate the so-called consultation in its informative phase, cutting off the right to information on environmental, biocultural, economic, social impacts, the cultural heritage of the inhabitants, communities and indigenous peoples in the area of involvement ”. Instead, it has been pointed out that the proposals prepared by the Fonatur, the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) and the SEGOB for consultation only mentioned the benefits of the project promising that “the construction of roads and urban works would generate more 400 thousand jobs – directly and indirectly – that the project will take care of the environment and the historical heritage of the region, and that will lead to a “balanced development”.
They also promised that local passengers will pay fares of “almost half than tourists”, without specifying the amount, and that it would generate 157 million pesos a day in 2023, the year in which its implementation is planned.”
For more information in Spanish:
Comunidades indigenas aceptan construcción del Tren Maya, dice gobierno federal El Universal, 14 de diciembre de 2019.
La democrática imposición del Tren Maya (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2019)
Abre consulta sobre el Tren Maya en cinco estados; tiene respaldo de siete asambleas regionales Animal Politico, 15 de diciembre de 2019.
Hubo consenso unánime por el Tren Maya: INPI Excelsior, 16 de diciembre de 2019.
La “exitosa” consulta del Tren Maya en la que votó el 2.86% del padrón electoral de la zona (Proceso, 16 de diciembre de 2019)
75% de las comunidades indígenas participaron en consulta para Tren Maya: INPI (Aristegui Noticias, 16 de diciembre de 2019)
Solo se consultó sobre una parte del tren Maya: activistas; gobierno promete más consultas (Animal Político, 17 de diciembre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
México: Consulta sobre el Tren Maya y 9 otros proyectos “prioritarios” del próximo gobierno 27 de noviembre de 2018
Nacional: AMLO anuncia consulta para la construcción por el tren maya 10 de noviembre de 2018