Academics question the scope of the Mayan Train


Academics and consultants agreed that the work of the Mayan Train will cause environmental effects, impact on the Mayan communities, damage to the identity of the original peoples and possible land speculation and insecurity, among others. In addition, they criticized that the federal government has not disclosed correct information about this project that is intended to be developed in the southeast of the country, published.

During the forum “Costs and benefits of the Mayan Train”, which was held at the Faculty of Economics of the UADY, researchers questioned that until today it is not known in detail what this work will consist of and that, because of the, On the contrary, there are risks of social, environmental and cultural effects, Noticaribe refers.

Dr. Luis Alfonso Ramírez Carrillo, of the Regional Research Center (CIR), explained that these modern trains that reach 160 kilometers per hour are used in Asian or European countries to connect cities with massive concentrations of millions of inhabitants, a situation that does not It happens on the peninsula. In that regard, he stressed that the use of such means of transport in this area, considered one of the most depopulated in the country, makes no sense.

For this reason, he emphasized that taking into account what it implies, the costs of installation and constant maintenance, it will be difficult to survive with the own income that he obtains in tickets or transportation of merchandise.

Another point that the academic pointed out is that approximately 51 thousand people, mostly bricklayers, travel from Yucatán to Quintana Roo to go to work and, to a lesser extent, tourists move from Mérida, so the train is irrational in terms of costs if you consider that low passenger movement.

“Around 45 or 50 municipalities in the south and east of the state send workers weekly, who are picked up by the buses of the current transport system at their points of origin, that is, squares, towns. On the other hand, with the train, it is not possible for them to have physical stations that capture this population, neither in costs nor in logistics. I don’t see a Chemax worker taking a combi to move to Valladolid and take another transport to a station to board the Mayan Train towards the Riviera, ”he exemplified.

Ramírez Carrillo also stressed that it is a mistake to want to link Bacalar with Palenque, through Calakmul, as this will generate an important ecological impact at that point. For example, he said that going from the thousand tourists who receive his archaeological zone to three million, as proposed in the project, would generate around 800 tons of garbage in the Mayan jungle.

He added that this section would only benefit hoteliers and tourism entrepreneurs, not indigenous communities, and the use of public force to remove the population and obtain rights of way is not ruled out.

Another factor to consider, he said, is the security problem, because Calakmul is a sparsely populated area, Central American migrants can take advantage of that condition to try to use the Mayan Train “as a second Beast” in their attempt to move to States United.

For his part, Dr. Ricardo López Santillán, a researcher at the CEPHCIS of the UNAM, said he is not in favor of “apocalyptic scenarios” that revolve around the Mayan Train, since he considered that the construction of infrastructure will always be important for the reduction of transport and reduction of time, which would contribute to the development of the region.

To finalize his speech, López Santillán said that the main yellow focus of the Mayan Train is the lack of information by the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), promoter of the work. 

Meanwhile, Minneth Medina García, of the Intercultural Biocultural Board of Puuc, pointed out that so far they do not know if the project considers the fauna passes and if they are not going to affect the connection. In addition, he said that it is necessary to know which passages will be preserved or lost and if this will affect the cultural identity of indigenous communities.

He recalled that Yucatan has 80 percent of Mayan communities, who should be asked what kind of development they want. At that point, he regretted that it is unknown if the federal government has conducted indigenous consultations on the Train, or if they have been informed how they will be integrated into the economic benefit. 

He also indicated that the tourism that brings this work must be of low impact, that respects the communities and the cultural aspect, “that is the tourism of conservation and not depredative”.

Source: nitu

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