Friday, June 14, 2024

Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society adds its voice to Maya Train alert

An organization founded by French ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau has added its voice to the condemnation of the construction of the Maya Train railroad section between Cancún and Tulum in Quintana Roo.

In an open letter, Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society (OFS) said it fully supports the “honest petitions” made by organized groups in Mexico against section 5 of the US $8 billion rail project, whose route was recently modified by the federal government.

The letter, signed by OFS general director for Latin America Rubén D. Arvizu, noted that a group of citizens, including artists, musicians and environmental advocates, last week delivered a video message directed to President López Obrador.

“In this message they list the problems that the construction of the Mayan Train has caused and continues to cause in the Yucatán Peninsula and invite him to accompany them on a tour of Route 5, where the construction of the project is deforesting and seriously endangering the source of vital water, in a territory that lacks surface rivers,” it said.

“It is important to highlight that during the tour, the experts will provide … [the] president with the technical information that justifies the reason why the construction of the Mayan Train is not viable in the way it is being executed, due to the fact that the works have been carried out without the necessary environmental impact study.”

The OFS advised López Obrador that he can “rest assured” that its position “takes into account the conservation and integrity of the ecosystems” and asserted that “we can guarantee that we are not paid by anyone to make this public statement.”

The letter said the Cousteau group has been involved in exploration, filming and research in Mexico for more than four decades and has contributed to numerous ecological studies in the country.

“We extend a cordial greeting to all those who have raised their voices in defense of Mother Nature and we hope that harmony and reason will win this battle. We must not forget that no one owns a country and that each generation must strive to leave it in a better state than it received it,” the OFS concluded.

In addition to the #SelvameDelTren social media campaign to which the letter alluded, the decision to reroute section 5 of the railroad has triggered protests at the site of deforestation near Playa del Carmen, including one on Monday in which Greenpeace activists tied themselves to heavy machinery, and led to the creation of online petitions calling for an end to construction work that threatens the Mayan jungle and the Yucatán Peninsula’s subterranean water network.

Mexico News Daily 

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