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  • The Maya Train is a proposed 1,525 km railroad in Mexico that would traverse the Yucatan Peninsula.

    The Maya Train is a proposed 1,525 km railroad in Mexico that would traverse the Yucatan Peninsula. | Photo: En Contacto Mexico

Published 15 December 2019

The 'Mayan Train' is a large-scale infrastructure project set to connect the whole Yucatan Peninsula for tourism, transportation, and economic purposes.

The Mexican Ministry of Interior informed Saturday that the Indigenous communities in the Yucatan Peninsula and the state of Chiapas both located in the southeastern part of the country accepted “by consensus and without opinion against” for the construction of the Mayan Train.

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After holding talks with the government, the Indigenous communities’ proposals and needs will be incorporated and addressed within the project, whose purpose is to trigger sustainable development for the Yucatan Peninsula, the Mexican authorities said in a statement.

The 'Mayan Train' is a large-scale infrastructure project set to connect the whole Yucatan Peninsula for tourism, transportation, and economic purposes. The train would run 1,525 kilometers and connect the Riviera Maya resorts with archaeological sites in the interior of the peninsula.

The referendum held on Saturday occurred in the municipalities of Dzitas, Chichimila, Tunkas, Tixpehual, and Maxcanu, in the state of Yucatan; Tenabo, Campeche, and Palenque, in the state of Chiapas, where the Mayan, Ch’ol and Tzeltal peoples were consulted.

During the consultative assemblies, representatives and Indigenous authorities discussed key issues such as the preservation of the environment, of the archeological zones and the natural resources, as well as the defense of the territories and especially the sacred ones.

The Mexican government also reported that a series of mechanisms have been proposed in order to provide the communities with equal opportunities regarding the economic, cultural and social benefits the Mayan Train will seek to generate.

The consultative phase of Indigenous peoples of Yucatan, Capeche, and Chiapas is advancing! In dialogue with the  Mexican government, the communities agreed that their proposals and needs be incorporated and addressed in the project.
 

These assemblies with municipal, agrarian and traditional authorities, representing Maya, Ch’ol Tsotsil and Tzeltal indigenous communities, respond to the Indigenous consultation process protocol on the Mayan Train Development Project, complying with national and international legal instruments.

Before the consultations, on Nov. 29 and 30, 15 regional information assemblies were attended by more than 4,000 indigenous authorities and representatives, who expressed their opinions, needs, and proposals.

In each assembly, monitoring and verification commissions were formed to maintain a permanent dialogue with the communities, whose members and representatives will pursue the process of ensuring that the agreements are properly being observed.

The consultative assemblies will continue Sunday in the states of Tabasco, Campeche and Quintana Roo. Voting centers will be installed in 84 municipalities where train rails are planned.​​​​​​​

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