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


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)


National: Social organizations carry out “Disjointed National Mobilization” to demand release of political prisoners

July 14, 2014

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Photo (@EDUCA)

On 8 July, members of 38 social organizations organized a “Disjointed National Mobilization” involving roadblocks and protests in Mexico City, Yucatán, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Morelos, and Chihuahua. The mobilization was organized to demand the release of Juan Carlos Flores Solís, Enedina Rosas Vélez, and Abraham Cordero Calderón, who have been imprisoned in Puebla state since April of this year for their opposition to the Comprehensive Morelos Project (PIM).

PIM, which is overseen by the Federal Electricity Commission, seeks to build two geothermal plants as well as an aqueduct and a gas pipeline to supply these plants; the additional infrastructure would cross the states of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala.  The construction works are being conceded to transnational firms, both Spanish and Italian.

Also during the mobilization, organizations demanded the release of Marco Antonio Suastegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), who was detained in the state of Nayarit on 17 June.  The member organizations note in a communique that “we cannot allow the bad governments to continue imprisoning members of our people so that the conquistadores of today who own the large transnational corporations have all the ability to continue looting us of our land, polluting our nature, threatening our life, destroying our culture, and violating our rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado Mobilización Dislocada Nacional 8 de julio 2014 (Alianza Única del Valle, 26 junio 2014)

Exigen liberación de activistas y cancelación de megaproyectos (EDUCA, 8 de julio de 2014)

Protestas en 8 estados por el Proyecto Integral Morelos (La Jornada, 8 de julio de 2014)

Campesinos de Ixtapa anuncian movilización (Reporte Ciudadano, 7 de julio de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: 13 días de ayuno y oración de Alejandro Díaz Santis para pedir por su liberación (8 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Organizaciones exigen la inmediata liberación del vocero del CECOP, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (27 de junio de 2014)

Guerrero: Operativo policial detiene a opositor de la presa de La Parota(17 de junio de 2014)


National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform

October 4, 2013

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Sit-in of teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Photo @SIPAZ

On 11 September, dissident teachers from several Mexican states (Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Yucatán, and Veracruz) joined the protests organized by the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), which marched starting at 10am in Mexico City toward Los Pinos.  The Secretary for Public Education that day distributed the decrees which are to reform the General Law on Education demanding the expeditious institution of the laws recommended by the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education and the General Union of Professional Teaching Services, which entered in law on 12 September.

In Guerrero, some 5000 teachers from the State Coordination of State Educational Workers (CETEG) marched on the Sol Highway to protest the educational reform and its secondary laws.  In the protest participated teachers from the central and mountainous regions of Guerrero, principally, who went on strike in response to the call for mobilization on the part of the CNTE.

In Oaxaca, the Unions of Workers from the “Benito Juárez” Autonomous University of Oaxaca (STEUABJO) and of Educational Workers from the Oaxaca State Conalep (SUTDCEO) held a 12-hour strike to observe the national general strike called for by the CNTE.  Similarly, the Unified Front for Struggle (FUL) and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), teaching students, and retired teachers participated in marches, occupations of buses, and blockades of the TV Azteca office, preventing the exit of dozens of workers.

In Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, approximately 1,500 teachers from Sections 7 and 40 marched, closing the four access-routes to the capital during the entirety of the day.  15 days after having begun the mobilizations and protest actions against educational reform, the teachers on that day added to their demand a rejection of the fiscal and energy reforms, in parallel terms to social organizations and campesinos.  By means of social networks and text messages, on 10 September there began a calumnious campaign in the media opposed to the teachers’ movement in Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros de Guerrero marchan sobre Autopista del Sol (Informador, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Maestros preparan megamarcha en Guerrero (La Prensa, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan maestros en los estados contra la Reforma Educativa (Excelsior, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Protestan profesores en 17 estados en apoyo a la CNTE (Animal Político, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan Ceteg y MPG contra las reformas educativa y energética (La Jornada de Guerrero, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Inician maestros paro nacional (Proceso, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

A través de Facebook, amenazan de muerte a maestros chiapanecos (Proceso, 10 de septiembre de 2013)

La mirada femenina del derecho a la educación en México, por tres maestras de Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 9 de septiembre de 2013)

En Oaxaca, sindicatos y organizaciones realizaron manifestaciones de apoyo a la CNTE (Página3.mx, 11 septiembre de 2013)


Chiapas: Forum “Defending hope and autonomy from southeastern Mexico”

July 19, 2013

Panel en el Foro “Defendiendo la esperanza y la autonomía desde el Sureste mexicano” (@SIPAZ)

On 27 June, several organizations which comprise the Southeastern Region of the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” from the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and Yucatan organized the Forum “Defending hope and autonomy from southeastern Mexico” which was held in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. A journalist and five rights-defenders presented their perspectives regarding their work and the problems they confront.  In parallel terms, the book “Accompanying Hope” was presented, which documents 20 experiences of the defense and promotion of human rights in the country.

In a bulletin, these same organizations presented their diagnostic evaluation of the prevailing situation in the states of southeastern Mexico, stressing that in those spaces, there has been seen an increase in the “social conflictivity based in the structural violence generated by the different levels of government.”  They stressed that “in light of the communal contexts in which these [conflicts] present themselves in the southeast of Mexico, given the increase in social conflict, worsening of poverty, impunity, discrimination and corruption that is practiced by the different levels of the government, human-rights defenders represents one of the actors of change to transform this worrying situation through alternatives of life and hope for this country.”  They indicated that their “work continues unrecognized by the official authorities and non-state actors, who reduce the definition of human-rights defender only to those who work in a public organization that officially works in human rights.”

As an example of the increasing tendency toward criminalization, the panelists mentioned the cases of the “judicial persecution of our colleague Nataniel Hernández Nuñez from Tonalá; the unjust incarceration of Alberto Patishtán Gómez from El Bosque; and the troubles suffered by Fray Tomás González and the personnel of the Migrant Home 72 in Tenosique in their work to assist migrant persons transiting through the region.”

The panelists concluded by affirming that the “Campaign ‘Let Us Defend Hope’ is a motivation to emphasize and recognize this important work which seeks to dignify the invaluable contributions of persons who without being part of any official human-rights organization, still do work to promote, defend, and exercise human rights in southeastern Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Convocatoria a la presentación de la “Campaña Defendamos la Esperanza” en Chiapas (27 de junio de 2013)

Boletín: la defensa de los Derechos Humanos en el Sureste de México (27 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Campaign “We Defend Hope” in favor of human-rights defenders (8 April 2013)