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May 31, 2022

Mexican court suspends construction of Mayan Train project

Plans for the project were said to 'not comply with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation'.

A Mexican court has indefinitely suspended construction of the Mayan Train project on environmental grounds, as reported by Reuters.

The railway project was intended to connect the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador supported the project for the development of the country’s southern states.

The President had pledged to complete the railway by the end of next and said it had already created 105,000 jobs.

According to environmentalist group Defending the Right to a Safe Environment (DMAS), the court ruling specified that Mexico’s National Tourism Promotion Fund’s (Fonatur) plans for the project ‘do not comply with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation’.

DMAS said that the project would lead to wildlife disruption and deforestation, Reuters reported.

Last month, construction was halted on the project’s fifth section, which measured 121km, as it did not have the required environmental permits.

This section links the resort cities of Cancun and Tulum in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state.

At present, the environment ministry is evaluating Fonatur’s environmental application for the project.

Fonatur was quoted by Reuters as saying that the construction ban stands “only until the project’s Environmental Impact Statement is fully resolved.”

The company said in a statement that it expected to overcome the indefinite suspension.

In a separate development, the Mexican Government was recently involved in a dispute with environmentalists over a failed electricity reform bill, which would have increased investment in fossil fuels.

Last May, a consortium featuring Bombardier Transportation Mexico, Alstom Transport Mexico, Gami Ingeniería e Instalaciones and Construcciones Urales Procesos Industriales received a €1bn contract for the Mayan Train project.

The scope of the contract includes the design, manufacture and supply of 42 X’trapolistrains, as well as the construction of railway systems, workshops and garages.

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