Maya Train Project Suspended

A Mexican judge has ordered a temporary suspension of works on a stretch of the Maya train project in Mexico, citing the lack of environmental permits.

Judge Adrián Novelo ordered the suspension of works until further studies could address environmental concerns. 

Novelo said building work on the 75 mile-stretch should be suspended because “a continuation of the works… implies the cutting down of trees, the destruction of flora and native species, and the perforation of the ground.”

Last month, cavers had joined forces with environmentalists to bring the case to court, arguing that a change in the route of the train line linking the tourist hotspots of Cancún and Tulum, known as Section Five, would harm the jungle as it will now run through the network of caves which lies beneath it.

Environmentalists and speleologists have warned that construction work would damage the million-year-old cave system.

The $9.8bn Maya train project aimed at building a 1,500km-long railroad linking the south-eastern Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo is President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s flagship infrastructure project.

Critics said the megaproject has started in haste, and environmental concerns have been overridden.

However, the president has dismissed warnings by activists labeling them as “pseudo-environmentalists” and questioning their motives for opposing the project.

On Friday, lawmakers will decide whether the suspension will be made permanent.

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