Experts Call For Protection of Santa Lucia’s RelicsThu, 08/27/2020 - 18:28
A report from La Jornada details the urgent requests for protection of relic discoveries made in Santa Lucia, as drafted in a letter to President López Obrador by Francisco Javier López Morales, former Director of the World Heritage Office at INAH. The anthropological findings were announced in May and include the skeletons of over 60 mammoths along with other pleistocene fauna and archaeological remains of Mesoamerican civilizations. The letter is titled “In Support of the Rescue of Santa Lucia’s Paleontological and Pre-Hispanic Heritage” and is co-signed by a number of Mexican and foreign scholars, such as Matteo Fabbri from Yale University and UNESCO World Heritage Director Francesco Bandarin.
The letter claims that additional protection, which should include an official declaration from the federal government of the site as national heritage, is needed because the researchers currently working on this dig are being pressured by both the federal government and the army to not delay the construction of the new airport.
Ready for more? Here’s the Week in Infrastructure!
Mayan Train to Be Finished in 157 Weeks: FONATUR
Milenio reported that President López Obrador showed a video progress report on the Mayan Train project similar to the ones that have been delivered in other occasions for the Santa Lucia airport. The video lasts a little over two and a half minutes and was later reposted on the Mayan Train Twitter account. FONATUR Director General Rogelio Jiménez Pons promised that the video will be the first of 157 weekly reports to be presented every Monday morning during the president’s daily morning press conference until the Mayan Train becomes operational. The implication of this promise is a commitment to finalizing the project so it can receive its first passengers in September 2023.
Activists Demand SEMARNAT to Stop Mayan Train Construction
A report from El Economista details the latest letter sent directly to SEMARNAT and signed by a long list of NGOs, CSOs, law firms, research centers and political organizations pressuring the regulating entity not to approve or authorize the Mayan Train’s environmental impact report, which technically remains under revision and processing. The letter argues that the train’s pathway violates the sovereignty of protected natural areas that house species that are significantly vulnerable to extinction, such as the jaguar.
States Request Additional Federal Infrastructure Funding
During yesterday's morning press conference, President López Obrador said governors have a legitimate right to request more federal funds to develop local projects but that first they must protect the budget. “We are part of a federal system and we have to handle the wealth of Mexico fairly and honestly. We are not leaving any state without support,” he said after Durango Gov. José Rosas Aispuro asked for more resources to improve the state's infrastructure. Alongside Coahuila Gov. Miguel Ángel Riquelme, the president today held his security cabinet meeting in Torreon where they assessed security in both states and in the La Laguna region.
Ecological Park Will Replace Canceled Airport
The Texcoco Lake Ecological Park project aims to recover over 12,200ha with one single ecological restoration project that will include public spaces, CONAGUA head Blanca Jiménez said during the president’s Tuesday morning press conference. During the presentation of the project to replace the canceled NAIM, the park’s head, Iñaki Echeverría, said it will include several protected areas for flora and fauna. The planned opening date is 2021, “if the COVID-19 pandemic allows it,” Echeverría said.