More Debate Surrounding Mayan Train SuspensionBy Pedro Alcalá | Thu, 06/25/2020 - 17:15
One month ago, the Ch’ol indigenous community from the Chiapas state municipalities of Palenque, Salto del Agua and Ocosingo enacted legal protections against the Mayan Train project arguing that it violated their rights by representing an unnecessary risk of COVID-19 infections. These protections were at the time struck down by a group of state judges. El Economista reports that this week, that decision has once again been overturned, granting the Ch’ol community protection and once again suspending the project pending a final resolution (of indeterminate origin) on the matter.
FONATUR released a statement in response claiming that this development will only apply while COVID-19 emergency measures are still in place and only to new constructions and not to the rehabilitation of existing rail lines. It also attempted to make clear that the suspension can only apply to work being done in the vicinity of Palenque, considered the train’s first stop.
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Mayan Train Will Be Electric: AMLO
During yesterday’s daily morning press conference, President López Obrador claimed that the Mayan Train will be electric, traveling at 160km per hour without causing any major environmental impact. This contradicts previous reports of the train being fueled by diesel. He also claimed a new track is not being considered for the project, but that the existing one will be modernized since it is currently suitable only for speeds of 80km per hour.
The president also commented on the Ch’ol community and its opposition to the project, saying that this is a politically motivated decision driven not by inhabitants but by some organizations. However, “If a judge orders us to stop working, we are going to comply,” he said.
Mexico City Reactivation Through Construction: Sheinbaum
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced her plans for the capital city’s economic reactivation through construction projects and job creation. The program aims to generate 987,183 new jobs after losing 220,000 positions since April and will be divided into three stages. First, a “historic investment” in public works by the Mexico City government worth US$1.14 billion expected to create 271,034 jobs, followed by US$4.1 billion to support programs for employment and concluded by projects related to private works.
SCT Repairs Earthquake Damage
A Tuesday press release from SCT details repairs made to the Oaxaca-Tehuantepec segment of the Mexico City-Oaxaca highway after it was damaged by landslides caused by the 7.5-degree earthquake that rattled the state of Oaxaca on Tuesday morning. Transit was successfully reestablished later that day but a full survey of statewide damages remains pending.
Transisthmic Corridor Work Partially Suspended
El Universal reports that protests from local communities have now resulted in the decision to suspend rail line rehabilitation work in certain segments of the Transisthmic Corridor project. This suspension will remain in effect until a new agreement can be drafted with the population of various Oaxaca state municipalities following a meeting currently scheduled for Sunday July 5.