Fonatur Admits that the Mayan Train has no Environmental Assessment

Rogelio Jiménez Pons, holder of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur), awarded the contract. Photo: Eduardo Miranda

The National Fund for Tourism Development (Fonatur) acknowledged that it has operated to prevent the four sections of the Tren Maya awarded to date from being subjected to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a requirement for any infrastructure work for 32 years.

By Matthew Tourliere

In an “explanatory note” published today, Fonatur mentions that for the first three sections [of the train], it received an extension from the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) to complete the EIS, under the argument that it is a “maintentance for rehabilitation and improvement of the existing railroad track.”

It added that, as  this track was built prior to 1988, it is not subject to the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Protection of the Environment, which requires environmental evaluations for infrastructure projects. 

In other words: to avoid environmental review, Fonatur equated the construction of the Tren Maya to simple maintenance of the existing track, “in order to comply with international standards in terms of rail service, environment and safety,” despite the fact that the mega-project proposes doubling the tracks, significantly increasing the number of trains and cutting down the vegetation 20 meters around the lines.

As for the fourth section, which was granted directly to the ICA company, Fonatur argues that it is a “road maintenance”, considered to be  “within the title of concession currently held by the company ‘Consorcio del Mayab’, S.A. de C.V.'”;  this work — that will link Izamal to Cancun — proposes to open the existing road so that the Mayan Train can pass between the lanes, an operation of 27 billion pesos that can hardly be understood as road “maintenance”.

Fonatur issued its “explanatory note” with the intention of “fighting disinformation” which, according to the agency, appeared in the Templo Mayor column published yesterday in the Reforma newspaper; in it it stated that Semarnat had issued an exemption that allowed the start of work on the Mayan Train without an environmental impact assessment, which, according to the content of the explanatory note, was accurate.

From the beginning, Fonatur refused to carry out an EIS for the complete project of the Tren Maya, preferring to break it into the seven sections. On several occasions, Milardy Douglas Rogelio Jiménez Pons, director of the agency, declared that an environmental impact study would not be necessary, given that the Tren Maya would follow the rights of way of the old railroad and the previous ICA road concession. Furthermore, the politician has reiterated that the priority of the Tren Maya is focused on its social benefits, which “compensate for the environmental impact”.

In response to an explicit question from Proceso, last March, Jiménez Pons acknowledged that Fonatur does not have the EIS for the “development poles” – the new cities that Fonatur intends to build around the Mayan Train stations – because they were still in “the process of socialization with the partners, which are the communities.”

It is important to note that the works and activities that have been initiated, are planned and  expressly indicated in the railway assignment and in the road concession title, respectively”, assured Fonatur, and underlined: “Currently, environmental studies are being carried out for all those works that, due to issues of design and safe operation, are outside the current railway and road rights of way”.

There are still three lines that Fonatur still hasn’t formally assigned [contracts for]: number 5, corresponding  to the section from Cancún to Tulum, and the 6 and 7, which will be built by the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) and will connect Tulum and Escárcega, passing through Calakmul with 270 kilometers of new line in the middle of the jungle.

The refusal of the federal government to evaluate the possible negative impacts of the Mayan Train on the environment is one of the reasons that a group of 159 civil society organizations and 85 personalities highlighted last Tuesday, the 2nd in a document rejecting the mega-project.

This article was published in Spanish in Proceso, on June 8th, 2020. https://www.proceso.com.mx/633477/fonatur-admite-que-tren-maya-no-tiene-evaluacion-ambiental? The English interpretation has been re-published for readers of Camina Pregunta and Schools for Chiapas.

Immediate freedom for the Chiapas prisoners in struggle!

Chiapas Support Committee

PRISON #10 in Comitán de Domínguez (CERRS 10)

Since last May 21 of this year, fellow adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle: from the following organizations: La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia, La Voz Verdadera del Amate and Vineketik en Resistencia; maintain a hunger strike from different Chiapas prisons.

Their demand and their struggle are one and only one: IMMEDIATE FREEDOM!

With this action, our compañeros make visible the negligent and corrupt work on the part of Chiapas prison authorities, who refuse to guarantee the integrity of people who are their legal responsibility; thus underestimating and neglecting, the state of health of hundreds of people in prison; some of which have tested positive for COVID-19 and many others who present symptoms of having it, but without having security and certainty about it.

As an elementary act of justice the compañeros on a hunger strike must be released…

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The Mayan Train and Resistance in Times of Pandemic

Photo: Heriberto Paredes/Archive

By Daliri Oropeza

Without tourism, the return to the communities began. More 70,000 people in Cancún were left without employment due to the emergency of the covid-19 pandemic. Now that the tourist beach city celebrates its 50 years of being a model for tourism, the visitor count has fallen to 3 percent, the lowest since its inauguration. Employees and workers, many of them indigenous mayans or people from southeastern communities, went back to their communities. The hotels and luxury hotel complexes fired them.

At the exit of the city, at the crossroad of the Cancún-Merida highway that goes to Holbox,  president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, gives the starting flag for the construction of the Mayan Train megaproject. 

These large companies that for decades have exploited the workers and have enriched themselves with the work of the people, with the name, with the territory and natural wealth, did not have the will, did not want to maintain the workers’ factories in the pandemic. They are disposable. Well, now they are going to hire them back,” describes Angel Sulub, a resident of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the municipality with the largest number of Mayan inhabitants.

He claims that the communities in his region have been protected and that is why there are fewer infections than in the cities. He is concerned about revival of activities and the president’s tour. The mobilization that he sparks in the communities where there are no infections, the comings and goings of working in Cancún, puts them in danger. The tourist megalopolis is the place with most deaths from covid in Quintana Roo: 255 cases.

Starting flag from the national capital of tourism

“They take advantage of the need in the communities to continue exploitation of labor, when they talk about the economic reactivation it is the reactivation of the exploitation. It is with that logic, that they “says Sulub, a young Maya who is also a member of the U kúuchil k ch’i’ibalo’on Community Center – Raxalaj Mayab’-.

It is symbolic that president AMLO waves the starting flag in Cancún. Residents of Yucatán and Quintana Roo that make up the communities and collectives speak of its significance. 

According to the Mayan anthropologist and historian, Ezer May, the president takes advantage of the defenselessness of the people. 

“In the face of the emergency, we are taking care of the health of the grandparents, of the community, it is a collective care,so it is difficult for us to focus on holding protests, assemblies, alongside the pandemic. The government is taking advantage of the power it has to do so,” says Ezer May, originally from the Mayan village of Kimbilá, where the train line passes and there is a planned station.

For their safety, members of the Sustainable Puerto Morelos collective prefer to remain anonymous in the interview. Where they live is one of the three most visited tourist destinations in the region. It is less than an hour from Cancún and is on the way to Playa del Carmen on the way to Tulúm. They are aware of the pollution and the damage to nature that the tourism industry causes. They have openly declared that the model of tourism in the region has been a failure for its environmental and social devastation.

“It is symbolic because it shows that it is not a train for life, but a train that seeks to export the model of mass tourism to the entire peninsula through the train. Do we want to export it to the entire peninsula? It is super serious, our diagnosis is negative, as well as his visits [the presidents’] in this pandemic,” says a member of the collective Sustainable Puerto Morelos. 

Although the Mayan communities were closed in the face of the covid 19 emergency, the people interviewed affirm that there is a continuity of legal and organizational activities to confront the train. With them they are forging alliances that will allow them, outside of the calendars of power, to defend their territory from the mega-project. In addition, they are already working on a joint legal strategy between the three states.

Cancun, the snakes’ nest

Cancun has at least 1,287 infections and 255 deaths per covid-19. It is the red light district of Quintana Roo. 

Cancún occupies a privileged place on the map of modern urban enclaves of globalization. It means “snake’s nest” in the Mayan language. It was born out of a government decision 50 years ago. In a short time it became an impressive nest of construction companies, politicians and transnational tourist chains that initially gave rise to an urban nucleus of 700 thousand inhabitants. The city grew exponentially and cast Mayan workers to the peripheries of the luxury tourist resorts. It is the main tourist destination in the Mexican Caribbean. It has fostered up to half of the country’s tourism revenue. People returning to their communities often say that they no longer want to go back [to Cancún] because it has become too unsafe.

“With this model of development, people believe that the city gives you a different status. This is changing because the people who come back from Cancun, they’ve already seen the violence, the insecurity and the wage slavery. That returning sector is a double-edged sword with respect to the train. They believe that it can be like Cancún for earnings but with safety, because here we still live it [in safety]. They have that idea, notion, vision because with those jobs they bought their car or built their house,” says Ezer May, who describes how in his community they communicate in the nixtamal line, in the plazas or in the markets.

Quintana Roo was called the “Capital of Tourism” because of Cancun. An island that was deserted, separated from the mainland by narrow channels that joined the sea with several lagoons, located on a shore surrounded by virgin forest. These beaches were converted into the most important tourist attraction in the country.

Cast aside, laid off

This place of  “economic overflow”  laid off at least 70,000 workers according to the mayor’s figure. In total, Quintana Roo registers 86,304 lost jobs, according to the IMSS (without counting the 120,000 jobs lost in the construction industry from jobs not registered by insurance). Angel Sulub sees it as a new colonialism, he describes from Carrillo Puerto:

“The president uses the pretext of the creation of jobs that the train would bring. But these are the same temporary jobs that already exist: precarious, which have nothing to do with dignified jobs for the community… And then to start right now, it’s the health of the workers! There is concern in the community because now that tourism activities are reactivated, there will be greater mobility. That won’t stop  opposition to the train from continuing.”

The Mayor’s Office of Benito Juarez in Quintana Roo estimates that one billion dollars worth of matching airplane seats did not reach their coffers. The lack of tourism due to the pandemic during the famous gringo vacation period called “spring break” left 700 rooms out of the 36,000 hotel rooms occupied.

“Everything is becoming easier for the president, because that economic model based on tourism has already been internalized by many people. Because of the Cancún model, they think that tourism is the only way to make money. That was established by the neoliberal model. In thinking that they are going to take more advantage of that, that imaginary is being used very well”, assures Ezer May.

It seems instead of a train, an anaconda disguised as a feathered snake.

Chronology of the seeds of resistance

According to Mayan historians of the region, the northern part of the peninsula has been mostly inhabited by the Mayans at different times during the last 3,000 years. This is where mega-projects are concentrated: wind power plants, pig farms, and tourism.

The train project has been going on for some time and the communities had already defended their territory. 

During the administration of PRI member Ivonne Ortega as governor of Yucatan, she tried to carry out the Transpeninsular Rapid Train backed by Calderon, although in 2011 the SCT decreed that it was an economically unviable project. 

In 2012, with PRI Governor Rolando Zapata Bello, former President Enrique Peña Nieto inaugurated his Transpeninsular Train project in 2012 and even toured for it. By 2015 it was cancelled. It had the same intention as AMLO: to unite the regions of the peninsula and the isthmus by train and connect the transit between refineries. It was not until AMLO proposed it that it acquired the name of Tren Maya.

Legal resistance

Over the course of his government, these are the actions that have been presented in defense of land and life due to the mega-project: 

The first protection was presented on January 6, 2020 by the Regional Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil (Cripx) with the support of Diálogo y Movimiento A.C. (DIMO). It obtained a suspension, first provisional, then definitive. Fonatur filed a complaint, which limited the agreement to the place of the complainants, even though they were all over the peninsula: Calakmul. 

In these legal processes, there are also several complaints before the National Commission of Human Rights.

In early 2019, human rights promoters and the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas collected more than 6,000 signatures against the mega-projects and the Mayan Train. They presented them to the ILO and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The first week of May, members of the Ch’ol Mayan people presented a petition for protection and a federal judge ordered a halt to the construction of the “Mayan Train” in the municipalities of Palenque, Salto de Agua and Ocosingo, Chiapas. This, because continuing the work during the covid-19 pandemic puts the population at risk. The government responded that the work will not be stopped.

For its part, the second week of May, the Assembly of Defenders of the Múuch Xíinbal Mayan Territory, in which Mayan defender Pedro Uc is participating, together with the Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Forestry, requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to protect the underground aquifer of the Yucatán Peninsula. They consider that the “Tren Maya” mega-project will cause irreversible damage.

Hidden water

The aquifer of the entire peninsula is a system of cenotes interconnected by the subsoil that makes the region where there are no lakes or rivers unique. 

A week before the confinement [due to Covid], in early March 2020, there was a Peninsular Socioenvironmental Assembly in Puerto Morelos, where the central theme was the aquifer and water.

There is an important precedent in 2018 by the National Assembly in Defense of Corn, in Hopelchen where the repercussions of the Mayan Train on the territory and on the crops were discussed.

On the peninsula, the peoples and organizations that participate in the National Indigenous Congress have met in Xpujil, Hopelchen and Mérida to analyze the train and articulate the construction of a collective defense network. They meet on a permanent basis.

In Carrillo Puerto alone, in 2019, there were 5 general assemblies to define the defense of the territory and inform the communities about the train and its impact on the region.

History of dispossession

At the end of 2019 in Tikul, an important assembly was held in which Marichuy was present. There, a pronouncement against the train was issued. The communities explained the problems they face because of wind farms, industrial parks, and the dispossession of pig farms. They concluded that the construction of the train would exacerbate all their problems.

“If we are in favor of life, we necessarily go against mega-projects that come to affect life, in each of the assemblies in communities and on the peninsula there is a position of rejection of the train. In the end the train project is connected to the transisthmus. That is why they try to make it invisible,” says Angel Sulub, a member of the U Kuchil K’i’ibalo’on Community Center. 

It is no coincidence that the President, together with the Mayan Train, is supervising the work of the Transisthmus [Corredor] in Sayula de Aleman.

According to organizations, groups and communities consulted, the period of the pandemic serves to weave alliances and strengthen the legal strategy between the three states.

Historian Ezer May describes that with the wind farms, resistance was born when they already realized the damage that the companies did to nature and the unfulfilled promises. He believes this can happen with the 4T project.

From his position as a historian, Ezer recalls: “The assembly mode was completely erased in the northwest [of the state]. It is historical, it was erased especially in the henequen zone, and so there is an effort to cover up what was concealed by the ejido, this consciousness is just now being developed. Now there is the seed of resistance.

In spite of the enormous Mayan presence on the peninsula, the form of land ownership is the ejido, and this format still leaves a large number of people out of its decision-making, such as young women and the elderly, and leaves everything in the hands of the ejido authorities.

This article was published in Spanish on May 31, 2020 in Pie de Pagina. https://piedepagina.mx/el-tren-maya-y-la-resistencia-en-tiempos-de-pandemia/ . This English interpretation is re-published by Caminar Preguntando.

What’s the Military For?

By Raúl Romero*

On Monday the 11th of May, a contract was published in the Official Journal of the Federation which makes the permanent Armed Forces available to carry out tasks of public security. The agreement, dated last May 8, is accompanied by the signatures of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the secretaries of National Defense, the Navy and of Citizen Security and Protection.

This follows the route already marked out in March and May of 2019, when with the approval of all the political parties, the constitution was modified and the law of the National Guard was expedited. Accordingly, the agreement just published is in line with the militaristic logic of the past and current administrations, and gives continuity to both direct and indirect militarization of the country’s public security  country until 2024, which is to say, during AMLO’s entire six-year term. 

It should be remembered that, according to the cable 06MEXICO505 of WikiLeaks on the 31st of January, 2006, López Obrador, let the United States ambassador, Tony Garza, know that he wanted to give more power and authority to the military in the war on drugs, and for this purpose, he was seeking a constitutional amendment that he didn’t hesitate to obtain.  

The moment in which this contract was published is particularly striking: in the midst of the height of Covid-19 contagion, marked by a strong dispute with part of the business sector and with the national and foreign media, but also at a time when the two emblematic megaprojects of his administration, the mis-named “Mayan” Train and the Inter-Oceanic Corridor have met the most opposition from the communities and their organizations. 

By the same token, between the possible new scenarios for Mexico, as a consequence of the global economic crisis that was already underway and will be exacerbated with the pandemic, one has to consider the discontent of huge social sectors that will be affected, as well as the rise in migration, and also the growth and expansion of enterprises of organized crime, which will be able to feed off of the great numbers of people who remain unemployed.  

The great political, economic and social power that the current administration has handed over to the armed forces is undeniable. Even if, with Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto Sedena (the Secretariat of Defense) was converted into a great construction industry, this hasn’t ceased under Lopez Obrador, because the same [entities] will build and maintain highways, ports, airports, railways, banks, hospitals, telecommunications infrastructure and other works. 

According to AMLO’s own words, the military is already building, with a budget of 10 billion pesos, the first 1300 branches of the Bank of Well-being of the 2700 planned. Sedena is also building the Felipe Ángeles International Airport in Santa Lucía and it has been announced that they will be granted the construction of two sections of the Mayan Train. With regard to the Sembrando Vida program, 12 Military Forest Nurseries in seven states of the country are being used, from which the distribution of and delivery of the plants is handled. 

The control and security of Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) pipelines , the distribution of medicines, and in recent days, the control of some hospitals has been handed over to Sedena, the Navy, and the National Guard. 

As for the National Guard, last February, AMLO reported that the 70,000 troops had been deployed, but that the plan implied having 140,000 throughout the national territory by the end of 2020.   

The path of militarization was not, before the pandemia, and is not now an option, above all in our country where the military forces have been systematically used to repress and silence discontent, to persecute and disappear resistances, and also to protect and strengthen the businesses of criminal groups. The names of Ernestina Ascencio and Ayotzinapa, to mention a few, should resonate strongly in the collective memory in these moments. 

As long as the armed forces are not brought to justice for past and present crimes, or for their participation in the acts of corruption, the pact of impunity will continue to mark their actions. As long as  the armed forces are not fundamentally transformed to obey the people, the subjects from whom public power emanates, they are in fact a threat. 

Militarism is one field of capital accumulation, Rosa Luxemburg warned us, and its function of violent proletarianization of the indigenous people and the imposition of wage labor in the colonies, in the formation and extension of Europeans spheres of influence on non-European territories, in the forced installation of railroads in the backward countries. Here is one possible answer as to why the current government has so much invested in the military: it is needed to ensure order and social rest, in order to guarantee its development projects. 

*Sociologist

This article was first published in Spanish in La Jornada on the 16th of May, 2020.  https://www.jornada.com.mx/2020/05/16/opinion/. This English interpretation has been published by Caminar Preguntando and Schools for Chiapas.

Mayan Train, Sembrando Vida and the Trans-Isthmus Corredor: A trifecta for the dispossession of indigenous peoples.

By Iván Uranga

“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

Refrain

This week (May 8th, 2020) an investigation was released about the impacts on the value of territorial use of indigenous and peasant communities that the projects of the Transisthmic Corridor, the Mayan Train and the Sowing Life program will have, presented by the Center for Studies for Change in the Mexican Countryside (CECCAM) and prepared by Daniel Sandoval Vazquez. The report concludes that these projects are intended not only to facilitate the flow of products from the most important companies in the world, increase the flow of tourists and reforest the South-South-East of Mexico, but that the three are part of a single project of the “post-neoPorfiriato” or “post-neoliberal” government, as the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador likes to call itself. “Due to their anticipated effects, they can be considered a trifecta designed for the dispossession and subordination of the territory… projects like the Mayan Train and the Trans-isthmus Corridor mean, on the one hand, taking away the effective possession of the land from the original populations and, on the other hand, depriving them of the capacity to decide on any future use of the resources in general… the exploitation of the population that will be separated from their creative work linked to the land,” says the researcher.

All these projects have gone through an infinite number of names and concepts, but the one that the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is taking up again without saying so is the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project or Project Mesoamérica, now in full force, which was officially launched on June 28, 2008 during the government of Felipe Calderón. It consists of an Atlantic and a Pacific corridor with complementary links of interconnection, a railway network, port integration, navigation routes, road system and airport network accompanied by initiatives in telecommunications, energy integration, gas pipelines, tourism and archaeology, and on top of this, the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, the Mayan World Project and the Project for the Integral Development of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This project had continuation under the untouchable Enrique Peña Nieto during his term of office, and on April 28, 2014, he began the construction of the “Transpeninsular Train” for passengers and cargo for the Yucatan and the Riviera Maya, which AMLO now wrongly calls the “Mayan Train.” That same year, the untouchable EPN began the process of interconnection of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans through a “Trans-isthmic Train” that the only difference with the current project of AMLO’s “Trans-isthmian Corridor” is that the former was blatantly private, while the current one is public but granted to the private sector. In reality they form part of the silent recolonization of capitalism through hundreds of projects, in all of Mesoamerica, in Mexico alone there are currently more than 400 extractive mega-projects in operation that seek to facilitate the management and execution of the extraction and transfer of natural resources. (read: The Silent Re-colonization of Post-Neoliberalism).

AMLO adds a component in the purest style of the pre-neoliberal PRI that he permanently evokes; the Sowing Life program, which he has sold as the ecological project of his administration because, according to the executive, “it will reforest a million hectares” and which in practice is being used to convince the indigenous communities to accept the Mayan Train and the Transisthmus Corridor, because, according to the researcher, he is creating conditions in giving of 5 thousand pesos a month through this program to the peasants so that they accept the mega-projects.

Sembrando Vida in its first year was an utter failure because their goal they imposed upon themselves was to plant 575 million plants, and they were only able to plant 80 million plants, that is, they managed only 13.9 percent. Each plant of the “Sowing Life” program cost 375 pesos to the treasury in 2019. Taking into account that a budget of 15 billion pesos was exercised and that in the end only about 40 million trees will be viable –with that amount a common farmer, without spectacular programs, could plant not one but more than 20 viable trees with everything and labor. Therefore, the Secretary of Welfare, María Luisa Albores González, called for the resignation of the person responsible for the project, the Undersecretary of Planning, Evaluation and Regional Development, Javier May, which was rejected by the President of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, because it is not a reforestation program, it is a program to corrupt the will of the peasants with hunger, by forcing them to accept the Mayan Train and the Transisthmus Corridor in exchange for a monthly payment of 5 thousand pesos during AMLO’s administration.

Unfortunately, what could have been the best program of any Mexican president in history, because it could come to solve food autonomy and to reclaim the dignity of work in the countryside, has become the spearhead of the neoliberal mega-projects of this administration. The fundamental idea of this program is a bad copy of a project that we designed for the elaboration of the new constitution with the Citizen Constituency through the National Council of the Mexican People, (here you can consult (http://cnpm.mx/2016/09/17/un-paradigma-de-repuesto-el-quehacer-en-el-campo/ ).

“With the Transisthmus Corridor and the Mayan Train, the option is open to capital to create the necessary material base that will make possible more investments and profits in the short term. But if the components of these projects are analyzed, it can be seen that they are extremely problematic economic activities due to their social and environmental impacts.

It is very important to observe the way in which these two projects are linked to industrial production. They are not a plan for the creation of infrastructure for the simple distribution of goods, or tourism activities from the strategic geographical position of a region that is increasingly important nationally and internationally. As we have seen, the two projects mentioned include within them the possibility for national and foreign companies to generate enormous profits, from the unleashing of processes linked to the production of goods, in areas where social and biological wealth has exceptional characteristics”, states CECCAM’s research.

With AMLO’s actions we can affirm that he contained criminal and shameless neoliberalism, but he confuses corruption with neoliberalism, because his fight against government corruption is based on a new humanist neoliberalism in Mexico, which has shown us a redesign in the way of presenting the issue. The new face is shown to us with a halo of honesty that fights fiercely against the forms of corruption that the old neoliberalism left inserted as government culture, while giving continuity to the extractive mega-projects that have been the hallmark of neoliberalism in the world, with the pattern of daily and public denial of complicity in the plundering of water, land, cultures and biodiversity of the territories.

“Only the emissions from the Dos Bocas refinery would make the environmental services of capturing emissions from all the trees planted in the Sembrando Vida program insignificant”: Greenpeace

His new humanist neoliberal model envisions delaying the collapse of the capitalist system, giving money from the treasury to the dispossessed to maintain a minimum capacity for consumption that allows the rotten economic system that dominates the world to continue turning the wheel, and instead of using Sembrando Vida to achieve food autonomy, he uses it to buy wills (read: The State as a Social Enterprise; Yunus and AMLO saving capitalism). The scholarships given in the Youth Building the Future program have served to finance labor at the expense of the people’s money to companies like Elektra, Nestle and thousands more, who under the pretext of job training obtain slave labor without benefits and without having to pay. These thousands and thousands of young women and men were not even hired by these companies, because as long as this administration lasts they will be able to count on new slave and free labor every year, much less generate their own source of income, because they were not trained for it: If instead they had trained these young people in some trade during this year, at least today they would have the possibility of earning a living with their effort. (read: The 4th Transformation is Aztec).

If we take away the Transisthmus Corridor, the Mayan Train, Sowing Life and Youth Building the Future, from the projects that would come to save Mexico, we are left with only a sad airport that would momentarily fill the air transportation needs of the most economically privileged, and a refinery in an era where it is demonstrated that fossil fuels are a substantial part of the pollution problem that originates not only global warming, but also the effect on the habitat where the viruses that affect us today coexisted in peace, and even more so, with the melting of prehistoric glaciers, viruses and bacteria unknown to humanity until now have been found that, when thawed, could finish the work that the coronavirus began.

Here I share the link for those who want to read the 43 pages that make up the research published by CECCAM: http://ceccam.org/sites/default/files/Completo.pdf which concludes:

“The Sowing Life program is directly influencing people’s decision to accept official regulations. This disloyal action that alienates the people’s ability to exercise free consent can be proven by testimony in different localities… It should be said that the factional use of this government program is a fact that applies to the great majority of areas in which the federal government must get the population to cede their lands specifically for this supposedly tourist project, as we have proven cartographically by relating the sites where Sembrando Vida is implemented and the new routes planned for the passage of the Mayan Train.

For their part, private capital and business operators who have already taken the natural and social wealth of the Maya region by storm in previous times with their projects, entering into office and cooperating with public capital to support the subordination of territorial use value, making invisible and disregarding the needs and traditional uses of resources in the hands of the people. It is worth noting that in recent days, in response to the complaint against Alfonso Romo for being part of the gang of looters present in the Mayan region, the businessman has defended himself by assuring that thanks to his investments, the transformation of “unproductive lands” into “lands with a high added value” is achieved, jobs are generated, “the communities that die of hunger” come out of their misery.

CECCAM’s research coincides with that published in December by the Observatorio Latinoamericano de Geopolítica of the UNAM, which in its Advancements in Investigation of the Mayan Train (https://cutt.ly/7yvPOfe) states that “the analysis presented questions the main objective of the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador: to take Mexico off the slope of neoliberalism of the last thirty years. The Mayan Train and its productive-territorial transformations in the medium and long term foresee that the effects and impacts are not those expected by the principles of the Fourth Transformation.

“It presents several features of continuity with a vision of the world, of business and of completely neoliberal interests: a low presence of the State in investment, an increase in privatization encouraging the participation of large local and foreign companies, a profound push of expropriation never before seen in the south-southeast (of rights, of territories, of knowledge, even the breaking of social ties, cultural identities, economic practices, etc.)”

Today AMLO presents us with his lessons from the pandemic and blames the neoliberal model for the crisis, but his lessons are superfluous because among them he does not consider basic elements; such as the elimination of oil, mining, publicity and a radical change in environmental policies. It also omits the need to design agro-ecological models of food production by region that guarantee food autonomy in each area, the economic reclamation of labors of care in the home and the cancellation of the public debt that is suffocating nations and was acquired by the neoliberal governments.

The characteristics of survival of life on Earth divide the world into only two possible philosophies: those that make the planet cold or those that make it warm, as I propose in my Manifesto for the Earth. We cannot still continue within this humanist neoliberalism that AMLO presents us, overlapping the extraction of water and natural wealth by neoliberal mega-projects because it is costing us extinction. And the change must be today, because it will not be the last world crisis that we will have to live through, and if we do not seek a radical change now, the next one could be the last.

On May 8, a federal court granted an injunction to indigenous Chiapans ordering the suspension of work on the Mayan Train on the Palenque section, in order to safeguard the health of the Ch’ol people, which joins the protection granted to the community of Xpujil in Campeche and the protection granted against the Transisthmian Corridor to the Mixes and Zapotecs in Oaxaca, who today continue their struggle in a virtual way under the hashtags #NoAlTrenMaya and #ElIstmoEsNuestro as the quarantine ends to continue resisting as they have done for hundreds of years.

This opinion piece was originally published in Spanish in Julio Astillero, on May 11th, 2020. https://julioastillero.com/tren-maya-sembrando-vida-y-corredor-transistmico-una-triada-para-el-despojo-a-los-pueblos-originarios-autor-ivan-uranga/ It has been re-published in English for Caminar Preguntando and Schools for Chiapas.

Statement of Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train — Chiapas Support Committee

[Admin: The Sexta Grietas Network circulated this statement and asked for signatures. We reproduce it below with the signatures obtained.] Statement of Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train, a Megaproject of Death Traducción en español Traduction française April 15, 2020 We salute the efforts of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX […]

via Statement of Solidarity with the Struggle against the Maya Train — Chiapas Support Committee

Trinkety Shit – Little House

The last three boxes of the long-awaited move.  Peeling the tape and peering warily in, a pile of pretty things, a small pile of my life in summary.  More boxes- some rustic, some ornate.  A Wobbly patch,  Aunt Ora’s pin, boxes of rocks from around the world, and an ancient violin peg.  The wave-stone that Sarah left for me as I drove away broken-hearted, and rainbow layers of riverbed from the North Fork that very summer of my discontent. Shells from Nicaragua, obsidian from Santa Fe, and the photo of Green Tara from Geshe-la. These treasures, all packed up in a tiny little box labeled trinkety shit -little house.