Conflicts & War

Environment activists protest against Tren Maya project in Mexico

Cancun, Mexico, Mar 25 (EFE).- Environmental organizations formed a human chain in Puerto Morelos, southeast of Mexico, to protest the environmental damage caused by the construction of the Tren Maya railway project, especially the risk posed to the reef ecosystems.

More than 200 members of nonprofits such as Selvame del Tren, Voces Unidas Puerto Morelos, La Selva Salva, Selva Maya SOS, Puerto Morelos Sustentable, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), Voto por el Clima, among others, protested the destruction of cenotes, mangroves, reefs and the jungle, among others, at the Jose Maria Morelos Avenue.

Aracely Dominguez, president of the Mayab Environmental Group, said that the construction of the Tren Maya project would result in a 40-year setback in environmental protection and lamented that it was the government which was breaking the law.

Dominguez recalled that the struggle to defend nature has been going on for several decades in the region, which has been spearheaded by several environmental groups, especially regarding compliance with ecological systems, regulations and laws.

“We have taken up all legal means to defend our brother trees, grandmother ocean, and all beings that have the right to life. This, however, due to the different types of projects that have been carried out in the state, has been decreasing little by little,” she said.

Dominguez stressed that a point has been reached where the validity of laws has been lost over the issue of national security.

In this sense, she underlined the need for laws that safeguarded the citizens’ right to a healthy environment, to life and dignity.

“What is happening here is unprecedented, it is a real shame that it is the authority itself that breaks the law,” rued the activist.

Speleologist Roberto Rojo of the nonprofit Selvame del Tren denounced that more than 100 cenotes and caverns have already been affected by the construction work being carried out in section 5 of the rail project.

“We have evidence of cenotes that are totally polluted. It is disheartening to see what is happening in the jungle,” he added.

Protesters also expressed concern about the risks posed by transporting porphyritic rocks from Cuba for use in Section 5 of Mexican President Lopez Obrador’s mega-project for the Yucatan Peninsula.

The ship Melody remains anchored in the area since Mar 1, unable to unload 20,000 tons of porphyritic rocks – to serve as a ballast for the train tracks – initially due to bad weather.

However, unloading was postponed again after underwater diver and videographer Alberto Friscione documented damage to coral areas. EFE


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