“The Mayan Train of Shame”: the strong criticism of the Italian newspaper La Reppublica against the “great” work of AMLO

Train Maya (Photo: Steve Allen / Infobae)
Train Maya (Photo: Steve Allen / Infobae)

The Mayan Train, one of the most important works of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been strongly questioned, above all, by huge damage to the environment. But it has not only received criticism in Mexico, also abroad.

The prestigious Italian newspaper The Republic dedicated an extensive article entitled “The Mayan Train of Shame: 1500 of rails instead of forests” signed by Daniele Mastrogiacomo, which highlights the environmental impact that the work that will cross the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo will have.

The media begins the article by highlighting that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador considers this work as “his flagship”, the symbol of modern Mexico “that will connect the poor and isolated south with the rich east, with its archaeological sites, its Aztec monuments , the golden beaches of Yucatan and Quintana Roo ”.

“The Mayan Train (Mayan Train): 1500 kilometers of rails that will cross the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, to the peninsula overlooking the Gulf and the Caribbean. An impressive work, which spent between 6 and 7 billion dollars, to be completed in a very short time, to dispel myths and legends and demonstrate that even Mexicans can be efficient “wrote Mastrogiacomo.

The Mayan Train route endangers one of the most important lungs in America: Calakmul.  (Photo: Special)
The Mayan Train route endangers one of the most important lungs in America: Calakmul. (Photo: Special)

The newspaper notes that the announcement was made “in a big way” at the beginning of the year, but the excavation work began after four months. “Later, when the project was announced in detail, the first flaws came out. The contracts were awarded by private agreement. To some state companies but also to large holding companies, such as Grupo Carso, owned by magnate Carlos Slim “.

But he also highlighted the strong environmental impact. “The land to be excavated, the mountains of land to be removed, the forests and vegetation to be cut change the morphological structure, breaking not only human but also environmental balances. Entire communities have begun to wonder how much and how the new rail line will change their lives. They asked the government for requests for information, comparisons, news. Faced with evasive responses and, often, silence, they mobilized with the support of indigenous tribes and environmental activists ”, emphasized Mastrogiacomo.

He recalled that it is estimated, 70% of the income of the Mayan Train will come from the transport of goods, while “development poles” are foreseen around the 19 train stations in which “they will favor urban reorganization” and will include “services and infrastructures”.

Daniele Mastrogiacomo also questions the issue of the availability of water “A good that is worth like gold and that conditions the cycle of crops, the land, the type of planting and the plants,” he stressed. And, he stressed, the little water that there is is diverted to the tourist centers that are born around of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Serves hotels, resorts with their pools and guest needs. “Without considering that the rails will run through some of the most admired nature reserves where 280 species of birds and 50 of reptiles inhabit.”

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File photo of a demonstration by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) against the construction of the Mayan Train, in Mexico City.  (REUTERS / Edgard Garrido)
File photo of a demonstration by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) against the construction of the Mayan Train, in Mexico City. (REUTERS / Edgard Garrido)

“We do not want to become a new Cancun that has already taken away all the food we produce, leaving us only bare forest”Complains Geno, the leader named after the 15 members of the Xpujil Indigenous and Popular Regional Council who have appealed to justice for opposing the project. They claim that the Mayan Train plan affects the right to a clean environment enshrined in Article 4 of the Constitution.

The prestigious newspaper highlighted that when President Obrador started the works last June, the Ministry of the Environment had not yet issued its opinion on the environmental impact. Which happened until a few days ago.

But, the Italian newspaper noted, the Manifestation of Environmental Impact (MIA)it limited itself to dividing the work into different lots without addressing the possible consequences of the project as a whole in the territory. The impact study foresees the deforestation of 80 hectares of vegetation, something like 1,120 soccer fields. And this only in the first phase of the works. The report also explains that the logging will be compensated with a program of reforestation and repopulation of species destined to succumb or flee ”.

The article in the European media concludes by highlighting that for indigenous communities, what is truly important is nature, for which they are willing to fight, for the moment, at the legal level, and although the courts have already rejected their appeals twice, there is a the third has already been sent to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN).

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Tren Maya: a dubious project that continues to increase its risks

“Much fear of being evicted by the Mayan Train”: Campeche residents asked AMLO to change the line of the work

Maya train: indigenous communities obtained definitive suspension of works on Section 2 of the AMLO project

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