From June 5th to 7th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) made a visit to the south of Veracruz to inaugurate the works of the Trans-Isthmus Corridor in the midst of the health emergency due to the pandemic.
Prior to this, more than 100 civil organizations from Oaxaca and Veracruz released a statement in which they expressed their rejection of the modernization works of the Trans-Isthmus Train tracks and the other projects that the federal government is proposing with the megaproject. Its plans include wind and hydroelectric parks, mining and fracking activities, as well as the installation of ten industrial complexes.
The organizations of the Isthmus emphasized what they have been saying since the announcement of the project in the summer of 2018: “We consider that this project of the interoceanic corridor […] will be the destruction of the great diversity of the original cultures and Afro-descendants that coexist in the region of the Isthmus and that represent a true treasure for the peoples and for all humanity.”
They highlighted that the consultations made in March 2019 did not comply with the international standards established in ILO Convention 169 and therefore cannot be considered valid. In addition, they mentioned that new indigenous consultations had been announced, which were suspended due to the spread of coronavirus in Mexico.
Despite strong criticism, the President of the Republic inaugurated the Trans-Isthmus Corridor on the 7th. “The intention is to contain migration in these communities so that people do not abandon them in search of work in the north. That there is a job offer – I stress – so that whoever wants to leave does so for pleasure”, he said.
The AMLO government is not the first government to propose the industrialization of the Tehuantepec Isthmus area. Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, stated during the event that “the great difference of this project that the president is leading today is that it goes from the bottom up, and comes from consensus with the indigenous peoples.”
For more information in Spanish:
Generará cortina de empleos el tren transístmico: AMLO (La Jornada el 8 de junio de 2020)
Cierra filas Murat con AMLO en banderazo del Transístmico; no es momento de mezquindades, dice (El Universal el 7 de junio de 2020)
AMLO aprovecha confinamiento para imponer de manera “autoritaria” el corredor interoceánico: ONG (El Proceso el 4 de junio de 2020)
Comunicado de denuncia sobre el proyecto del Corredor Transístmico (el 3 de junio de 2020)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Oaxaca: “The Isthmus is Ours” Campaign Rejects Integration of “Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention” (May 19, 2020)