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News > Mexico

AMLO: Mayan Train a "National Security Matter"

  • AMLO says that the Mayan Train works have been resumed in defense of the national public interest. Jul. 19, 2022.

    AMLO says that the Mayan Train works have been resumed in defense of the national public interest. Jul. 19, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@AngelesGregario

Published 19 July 2022

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared the Mayan Train a matter of national security. 

"It has already been decided that (the Mayan Train) is a matter of national security and that not because of the interests of a group of corrupt and pseudo-environmentalists are we going to stop a work that is for the benefit of the people," the President told journalists.

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According to AMLO, the Executive is legally empowered to declare a priority project issued by the National Security Council, composed of the Public Security and Interior Ministries, in charge of domestic policy.

The works have resumed this week to comply with the plans to deliver the Mayan Train in December 2023. The 1,550 kilometers of railroad will connect Mayan archaeological sites and Caribbean beaches, passing through indigenous communities and biosphere reserves. 

In this sense, the President made referred cost of halting the works. "The time that (the work) was detained was costing the budget, which is the people's money, nothing more because of political interests of these corrupt conservatives," said AMLO.

The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said there was a conspiracy dedicated to stopping the construction of the Mayan Train, which is why he shielded the work, declaring it a matter of national security. 

The project, initially costing some 7 billion dollars, includes a 1.8 billion dollar contract for the construction of rail cars and systems with the consortium of Alstom of France and Bombardier of Canada.

Environmentalists and defenders of the country's indigenous communities and archeological heritage have opposed the Mayan train project, claiming that the works in the Mayan jungle are detrimental to the forest balance in the Yucatan peninsula.

However, López Obrador has said, "These are public works, and we cannot accept that the interests of groups and factions be placed above the general interest, which corresponded to the neoliberalism era," noting that the Executive's decision to resume the works was made in defense of the national public interest.  

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