Mexico: proposal from future AMLO government – Mayan Train to tour the southern states of the country and attract more tourism

September 15, 2018

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In the multiple proposals of his future government, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president-elect of Mexico, proposed a project for the construction of a tourist railway in the Yucatan Peninsula (communicating Chiapas, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Tabasco) that from the electoral campaign is called the «Mayan Train».

It seeks to communicate the main archaeological centers of the Mayan culture in five states of the Mexican southeast. Thus, it pretends yp detonate the economic development of the main regional tourist destinations such as Cancún, Tulum, Calakmul, Palenque and Chichen Itzá.

López Obrador has indicated that with this railroad Mexico will have “a modern, tourist and cultural train.” “It is a very important work because it is going to communicate one of the most important cultural regions in the world. There is not a region with as much cultural richness as this region of the flowering of the great Mayan culture“, he said.

The president-elect of Mexico has estimated that the Mayan train will cost between 120,000 and 150,000 million pesos (from 6,200 to 7,800 million dollars) and that the work will be completed in four years. “To finance this program, the funds collected from the tourism tax will be used, as it will not be enough, a call will be made to seek a partnership with the private initiative, so that it will be a mixed investment”, he explained when proposing that the construction may begin next year.

For its part, the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Campeche (INAH) has expressed that it considers important that the layout of the new train might be subject to a consultation with the indigenous peoples whose natural and cultural heritage could be affected.

For more information in Spanish:
México: así es el ambicioso proyecto del Tren Maya que propone AMLO y tiene un costo de miles de millones de dólares, BBC, 23 de agosto de 2018

INAH llama a consulta con pueblos indígenas para trazo de Tren Maya (La Jornada, 20 de agosto de 2018)

López Obrador quiere impulsar el turismo en México con la construcción del Tren Maya, El País, 14 de Agosto de 2018

Anuncia AMLO ampliación del proyecto del Tren Maya, La Jornada, 14 de agosto de 2018

For more information about SIPAZ:

National: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador New President Elect in Mexico July 17, 2018

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National: IACHR carries out visit to Mexico

October 10, 2015

(Tres integrantes de la CIDH antes del encuentro en Tenosique, @ La 72)(Three members of the IACHR before the meeting in Tenosique, @ La 72)

From 28 September to 2 October, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IAHCR) held a visit to Mexico to observe the human-rights situation in the country, with an emphasis on extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances. Bertha Santoscoy, a representative from the Organization of American States (OAS), indicated that one of the criteria most utilized by the IACHR to carry out the investigation is “the gravity and elevated number of denunciations regarding systematic violations of human rights that are detected in any given country.” The delegation sought to monitor the human-rights situation, collect information, and evaluate the observation of international law. “Our concern has been constant in recent years, but it is true that at this time there have been a series of very grave incidents,” remarked Cavallaro, member of the IACHR. Beginning on 28 September, the delegation visited Guerrero, Tabasco, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Veracruz, and Mexico City. The delegation led by the president of the IACHR, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, interviewed governmental authorities from the three levels of government and met with civil-society representative as well. As part of the visit, on 29 September, the delegation also met with several organizations working with migrants and refugees in Tenosique, Tabasco. In this way, it collected testimonies of victims regarding human-rights violations and from relatives of victims in the different places it visited. Beyond this, the IACHR carried out a meeting with the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) to address the latter’s report on the events of Ayotzinapa.

On 2 October, the delegation will give a press-conference to share its preliminary observations. For 2016 it plans to publish a report regarding its findings.

For more information (in Spanish):

La CIDH ve graves violaciones a derechos humanos en México (Informador, 30 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH revisará graves violaciones a Derechos Humanos en México (Centro Prodh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Visita in loco a México de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. (Diario de Chiapas, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CARTA INVITACIÓN DE LA CIDH PARA REUNIÓN EN LA 72 EL 29 DE SEPTIEMBRE (La 72, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH realiza visita in loco a México (Organización de los Estado Americanos, 17 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)


Chiapas/National: Barometer presented as a measurement of state of human rights in the southern border of Mexico

October 10, 2015

@ fronterasurmx.wordpress.com

@ fronterasurmx.wordpress.com

The Social Observatory on Human Rights and Migration at the southern border of Mexico has presented a new means of contributing to the analysis of social organizations and the citizenry in general regarding the situation of permanent conflict that is lived in the zone of the southern border of Mexico: that is, in Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

This barometer is a monthly tool of information and analysis regarding human-rights violations committed against people and social organizations in the region of the southern border. The barometer examines public denunciations and communiques that have been organized by the Observatory on the southern border. The objective is to contribute to the construction of an early warning system on human-rights violations and to strengthen the protective mechanisms for human-rights defenders in the area.

For more information (in Spanish):

EL BARÓMETRO (Observatorio Social de Derechos Humanos y Migraciones en la Frontera Sur de México)


National/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Founding of the Collective of Defenders of Migrants and Refugees (CODEMIRE)

April 23, 2015

Conformación Codemire (@izq.mx)

CODEMIRE Group (@izq.mx)

In an 8 April press-conference, there was announced the founding of the Collective of Defenders of Migrants and Refugees (CODEMIRE), comprised of 28 migrant homes located in southern, centrla, and northern Mexico.  Members of the new grouping expressed their rejection of the Southern Border Plan, launched by President Enrique Peña Nieto in July 2014, considering it to have contributed to greater human-rights violations against the migrants who cross through Mexico toward the United States.  They added that in comparison with 2013, there was a 47% increase int he number of arrests in 2014–not just on the border, but also aboard buses, on highways, and on freight-trains, among other locations.  They stressed that migrants’ vulnerability has not declined, for they face multiple challenges: extortion by the police, agents from the National Migration Institute (INM), the Navy, and the Army; kidnapping, disappearance, rape, and assault from organized-rime groups “that have found more fertile land after this plan was implemented.”

The members of the new collective have announced that they will unify their efforts toward the end of attending to and defending migrants transiting through the country, and protecting the rights-defenders of this populace who are threatened with death, criminalized, and persecuted for carrying out their work.

They called on the Mexican State to observe its obligation of providing security and protection to migrants; to cease the operations of migratory verification which imperil life, physical integrity, and human rights; to suspend the Southern Border Plan; and never to allow a plan of this magnitude to be implemented again without social scrutiny.

For more information (in Spanish):

Crean red de albergues y casas para desplazados (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

Defensores de migrantes en México rechazan Plan Frontera Sur (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de abril de 2015)

Organizaciones exigen la cancelación del programa Frontera Sur, por “poner en riesgo” a migrantes (Emeequis, 8 de abril de 2015)

Fore more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of INM agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González(13 November 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)


Chiapas: Misopá ejido denounces unauthorized exploratory work by CONAFOR

March 22, 2015

Municipio de Tila, foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Tila municipality, archive photo @ SIPAZ

On 3 March, a denunciation was made public by the Misopa Chinal ejido, Tila municipality, which pertains to the People United in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE) and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, which accuses the National Forest Commission (CONAFOR) of having entered “to our ejidal lands” to carry out studies and explorations: “they seek to apply the badly named agrarian reforms in our lands and territories.”

The denunciation mentions that on 27 February, several people arrived representing “the AMAREF S.A. de C.V. firm […] to work in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.”   The ejido declared that said firm has been contracted by CONAFOR and “has as its proposal to extract information regarding the conditions of trees, foliage, and soils” to carry out a reforestation in the area.  On 28 February, the ejidatarios of the 7 annexes of Misopa Chinal ejido expressed their disagreement with the “foreign persons in our ejido” doing this type of work, and they added that “the ejidatarios can plant trees from the region that are desired to manage their lands and territories.”  They also asked the authorities not to enter with their equipment “which have been taken by the ejidal assembly.”  The communique indicates that “we will hold the bad government of EPN responsible for any type of demand made against the ejidatarios and the ejidal authorities.  We never requested the presence of these people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Misopá denuncia exploraciones no autorizadas de CONAFOR en su territorio (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de marzo de 2015)

Ejido Misopá denuncia exploraciones no autorizadas de CONAFOR en su territorio (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos, 3 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas/National: Bishops of southern Mexico pronounce themselves on the “drama of migration”

February 8, 2015

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At the end of January, the Episcopalian Pastoral Commission for Human Mobility, part of the Conference of the Mexican Episcopals (CEM), held a three-day meeting in Tapachula with the participation of nine bishops working in the southern states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatán, Oaxaca, Campeche, and Veracruz. At the end of the meeting, in the document entitled “No to Indifference before the Drama of Migration,” the bishops pronounced themselves, declaring that “the Church is not indifferent to this drama.  The constant calls from the Pope and the bishops in light of this reality are a voice for the conscience of Christians and those who should offer efficient responses to society before this situation.  This is a voice that is lamentably not heard, above all by those who with their criminal practices make each day that passes more painful and more insecure for so many of our Central America brothers.”

Furthermore, they emphasized that “to the authorities we want to remind them to address the question of migration with more gravity in all aspects: above all, working decisively to promote dignified sources of work, the only way forward to eradicate poverty, which is a fundamental factor in this human drama.  It is urgent moreover to find and guarantee physical and legal security for those who transit through our territory.  Hospitality and the human values of Mexicans cannot be allowed to continue deteriorating due to external political interests or pressures.  The policy in this country should be defined by the values and principles of solidarity and respect for human life and dignity, as enshrined in our Constitution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del CEM No a la indiferencia ante el drama de la migración (30 de enero de 2015)

Piden obispos a México y EU abrir las fronteras (Milenio, 30 de enero de 2015)

Obispos repudian plan Frontera Sur (Proceso, 30 de enero de 2015)

Piden obispos mayor atención y seriedad al tema de migración (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de enero de 2015)

Infructuoso, el Plan Frontera Sur: obispos (La Jornada, 31 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)


Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots”

December 30, 2014

XVII Aniversario de la MAsacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a series of activities held in this same community.  On 21 December, a forum combined testimonies with prayers.  During this event participated Franciscan monks from the “72” migrant-home from Tenosique, Tabasco; the relatives of the disappeared students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; the father of Alejandro Díaz Santis, prisoner in the San Cristóbal jail and a member in solidarity with the Voz del Amate; the catechist Margarita Martínez Álvarez from El Limar, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, a region that also suffered murders, forcible disappearances, and massive displacements between 1995 and 2000; as well as representatives of the displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality.  It was stressed that all these processes should be united, not just based on shared pain, but also in terms of the search for justice and hope.

XVII Aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December, following a pilgrimage, a mass was celebrated with the presence of hundreds of persons.  The Las Abejas Civil Society denounced in a communique that “17 years, four presidents, and two political parties in power have passed since the bad government of Ernesto Zedillo to the [present] bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto.  Not one has had the dignity, humanity, or decency to apply justice and recognize the truth of the Acteal massacre.”  The bishop Felipe Arizmendi stressed for his part that “it is unconscionable that nearly all those imprisoned for this crime have been absolved, just because there were judicial deficiencies in their legal processing, not because they were innocent.”  It should be recalled that only two persons remain imprisoned for the crime of the Acteal massacre, and these two have had their sentences reduced from 36 to 18 years imprisonment.

Obispo Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Bishop Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Felipe Arizmendi noted that, though “so many years [have passed] of demanding justice and being ignored, […] we will all continue to demand and ask for justice.  We cannot resign ourselves passively to silence.”  The Las Abejas Civil Society used a fragment of the Mayan book Popul Vuh to affirm the same: “They took our fruits, cut off our branches, and burned our trunk, but they could not kill our roots.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil de Las Abejas de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

La Fraternidad, impulso y fuerza de la Resistencia. #Acteal #17Años(Koman Ilel, Cobertura del 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Es la historia de tod@s. Crónica de conmemoración diecisiete de la masacre ocurrida en el paraje de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, cobertura del 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Ningún presidente ha hecho justicia a 17 años de la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (Proceso, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

A 17 años, conmemoran con misa masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas encabezan marcha en Acteal, Chiapas (Radio Fórmula, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Llegan representantes de Ayotzinapa a Acteal para conmemorar masacre(La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)