Greenpeace Mexico activists immobilize machinery in Section 5 of the Mayan Train

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The symbolic closure was carried out when eight activists unfurled a banner with the message “Let’s protect the Mayan jungle” and immobilized the machinery with their bodies.

Cancun.- Greenpeace activists and representatives of different groups tied themselves to machinery that continues with the felling of trees for Section 5 of the Mayan Train, to demand the immediate suspension of the works that are carried out from Cancun to Tulum.

The symbolic closure took place this morning, when eight activists unfurled a banner with the message “Let’s protect the Mayan jungle” and immobilized the machinery with their bodies.

The “deep” devastation of the jungle affects 30 kilometers on average, with a width of 60 meters, the group stressed.

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The original layout has been modified four times, now entering the jungle, without having completed studies or having presented the Environmental Impact Statement (MIA), nor the Justifying Technical Study (ETJ) required by the General Law of Ecological Balance and Protection to the Environment (LGEEPA) and its Regulations, as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (PEIA).

“The route goes deeper and deeper into the jungle, contravening the promise to preserve a trace on the existing right of way, in addition to the absence of an Environmental Impact Statement (MIA), violating the provisions of articles 170 to 174 of the LGEEPA

“This law establishes the temporary, partial or total closure of a project at the request of Profepa, in case of absence or non-approval of the environmental impact study that must be presented to Semarnat as a requirement to carry out any work”, explained Aleira Lara, Director of Campaigns for Greenpeace Mexico.

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 Photo: Courtesy of Greenpeace Mexico

Lara indicated that scientists and activists from organizations such as Moce Yax Cuxtal, Jaguar Wildlife Center, Sentinels of Water, the Network of Socio-environmental Trainers, the Mayab Ecologist Group (GEMA), among other groups, have documented the risks that the project poses to the largest network of underground rivers in the world, together with the system of flooded caves and other ecosystems that form a unique ensemble.

The activist called on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to immediately suspend operations on section 5, which aims to cover 121 kilometers of double track, with 5 stations and 3 bus stops and which will go from the Cancun airport to the Tulum bypass.

“We are concerned that there is no Environmental Impact Statement, which in addition to incurring an illegal act, is giving way to irreversible damage to the ecosystem.

“This route, as it is proposed, will fragment, deforest, defaunate, pollute and put the jungle, the rivers and the communities at even more risk. Infrastructure, economic development and tourism projects should not derive from the destruction of nature or the violation of human rights”, he emphasized.

For Tania Ramírez of ” Siempre Unidas ” – a collective of feminist women, based in Playa del Carmen, municipality of Solidaridad – the mega project has been imposed on them, since the indigenous consultation that the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) and other federal agencies organized at the end of 2019, did not comply with the process marked by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO)

Said agreement mandates that indigenous consultations must be prior, free, informed and have the consent of the original and tribal peoples, under the standards set by them, not by the authorities.

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Photo: Courtesy of Greenpeace Mexico

Greenpeace listed the potential impacts and irreversible ecological damage expected to be caused by the construction of Section 5, in the form in which work has begun.

He cited the construction of railway infrastructure on top of karstic, porous and thick soil, as a “highly dangerous” element that can lead to imminent collapses, in addition to generating the probable contamination of the underground aquifer during the drilling process for the installation of piles. and other structures.

The section will pass over several floodable cave systems and rivers, including the Dos Ojos-Sac Actun System, which is complex and could reach up to a thousand kilometers in length. It houses human bone remains, fauna and about 200 archaeological sites.

“This intervention will generate an irreversible ecological imbalance that endangers the species that inhabit them, among which two species of blind fish that are in danger of extinction stand out, in accordance with NOM 059,” he warned.

The jungle that shelters 114 species of terrestrial mammals, some of them in a risk category within that same NOM 059 –such as the jaguar– will be impacted, as will the local fauna.

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In addition to this, the deforestation of tens of kilometers and hundreds of thousands of trees will make it difficult to capture water towards the water table.

Section 5 is divided into two. Section 5 north, in charge of the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena), which covers 60.3 kilometers from the Cancun International Airport, to Playa del Carmen; and Section 5 South, with its 60.7 kilometers from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, in charge of Grupo México and the Spanish company Acciona, which won the tender launched by Fonatur.

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