Five Companies to Be Sued Over Mayan Train WorksBy Fernando Mares | Thu, 05/19/2022 - 16:44
A federal judge accepted a class action lawsuit presented by the National Organization for the State’s Responsibility (ONRE) against five companies that work in sections 4 and 5 of the Mayan Train. The organization estimates that the lawsuit could lead to a millionaire compensation since the companies involved do not have the required environmental permits to develop the project.
The lawsuit was presented to the Eight District Judge in Civil Matters, located in Mexico City. According to ONRE’s first estimations, the lawsuit claims over US$28 billion as compensation for ecological damages. According to the document, the quantity must be paid by Grupo México, Mexico Proyectos y Desarrollos, ICA Contructora de Infraestructuras and Accion Infraestructuras Mexico.
“This lawsuit was admitted last May 13. It is reparatory for everyone since it also considers the definitive cancelation of the Mayan Train project. Nonetheless, our organization can extend it against any other party involved before the sentence is made,” said Jesús Guerrero, President, ONRE.
Guerrero explained that this is not an amparo since it considers compensation for the damage to the flora, fauna and the water of that Yucatan Peninsula, where the karstic soil is at risk of collapse due to its fragility. He added that the resources the organization asks for will be channeled through a fund established by the Judiciary Council to counter the damage to 780ha of jungle and indirect damage another 2,000ha, including the loss of flora and fauna, as well as damage to more than 100km of coast and groundwater reserves.
“This has nothing to do with the president; it is a lawsuit against five legal entities. It is a matter of damage repairs and it is well founded. No one is going to do business by killing animals and cutting down trees,” Guerrero added.
The Mayan Train project has faced legal challenges mainly because some organizations fear it could damage the environment and the rights of surrounding communities. Recently, a local court suspended works on section five of the project as residents of Playa del Carmen, along with the civil organization Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment (DMAS) filed an amparo against the construction of the project on April 19, 2022. Judge Adrián Novelo determined that the suspension was appropriate to avoid imminent damage to the environment.