Mayan Train Switches Route as New Problems SurgeBy Emilio Aristegui | Mon, 09/06/2021 - 18:46
The SCHP’s 2022 economic package includes the Mayan Train as one of the most important infrastructure projects of the year. But new concerns regarding the project’s planned routes arose after FONATUR communicated a different trackway placement.
Rogelio Jiménez Pons, General Director of the National Fund for the Protection of Tourism (FONATUR) informed through an official Federal Government press release of “The modification of the route of the Mayan Train project in San Francisco de Campeche, so the roads will no longer enter the city center. The station will be built in the periphery, on the outskirts of the urban area.” Jiménez added that “This decision was made as a result of an analysis of costs and time that the relocation process would take, so the new route of the Mayan Train will allow economic and time savings, which are important for the project.”
The project has raised important environmental and safety concerns after several independent studies highlighted the importance of properly developing the new routes. However, Jiménez also stated that the new routes would not significantly alter the original plans for the project. “Campeche is a relatively small city, so the station that is being set up is on the periphery of the airport. The location of the new road to the center has a distance of around seven minutes, so it is not a connectivity problem.”
María Montoya Aguirre, economist and consultant in economic development, had previously warned of the dangers this project might bring for Mexico’s southeastern region in a 2019 report. “The project did not include the analysis of the current state of the socioeconomic problems that it is supposed to solve, did not identify other related priority programs and did not identify their contribution or the expected changes from the start-up of the Mayan train.”
The different perspectives regarding the development of the project have divided groups from the beginning. However, it remains to be seen if this project will not only improve the lives of thousands of southeastern Mexicans, but also if it will not interfere with thousands of species living in that same region.