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President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ratified construction of the Maya Train will be consulted with Indigenous peoples.
The second national consultation organized by President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) starts Saturday and will last throughout Sunday. AMLO seeks to confirm support for 10 key development projects, including the controversial Maya Train, before assuming office on Dec. 1.
Other projects included in the consultation are a train to connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, building two refineries, doubling the pension for people over 68 years old, scholarships for all students of public schools in mid-higher levels, granting pensions for a million peoples with disabilities, guaranteeing access to medical attention and medicine, and providing free internet connectivity in Mexico's highways, public squares, hospitals, and schools.
On Saturday morning AMLO cast his vote surrounded by supporters.
Acabo de ir a votar, en compañía de Beatriz, en la consulta para decidir sobre los programas prioritarios que llevaremos a cabo. Les invito a participar. pic.twitter.com/LVZQs4yp97
He had previously announced that he would effectively campaign for the 10 projects included in the consultation because they were part of the political platform that got him elected.
Many have expressed support for the consultation and promote it as a form of direct, participatory democracy. Others, especially Indigenous communities who could be affected by infrastructure projects like the Maya Train and the train that to connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans reject the referendum arguing the communities are the ones who should be consulted.
"With respect to the so-called consultation, we reject any result that it has either for or against (the train). It is not permissible for any person outside the Yucatan Peninsula to decide what can be done or not done in our territories, just as we will never try to decide what will be done with the property, rights, and possessions," of those outside the Yucatan several Yucatan community organizations including the Forces for the Defense of Territory, Network of Environmental Services Ya'ax Sot 'Ot' Yook'ol Kaab, Mayan Communities of Chenes Collective, and the Atasta Indigenous Council said in a joint statement.
On Friday AMLO clarified there will be a process of consultation with Indigenous communities, in adherence to ILO-convention 169 concerning Indigenous people.
"The citizen consultation is an act for the exercise of the individual rights of the citizens of this country, and the Indigenous consultation will be conducted in an exercise of the collective rights of Indigenous peoples," AMLO explained.