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President López Obrador speaks Friday in Coatzacoalcos President López Obrador speaks Friday in Coatzacoalcos.

Developing isthmus will create curtain to stop migration to US: AMLO

The project is expected to bring economic opportunities to Veracruz and Oaxaca

President López Obrador is hopeful that an infrastructure project in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to connect the ports of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, in the Pacific and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico will become “a curtain” to stop the migration of Mexicans to the United States.

López Obrador made the comment on Friday as he toured one of the project’s construction sites in Coatzacoalcos.

The ambitious project involves the construction of a modern railway, highway upgrades, telecommunications infrastructure, expansion of both ports and the development of 10 industrial parks in the region.  

Some 300 kilometers of track will be laid and modernized to accommodate an electric train that will transport both cargo and passengers.

Improvements to the Coatzacoalcos port alone involve building 130 meters of piers, construction of a rail yard and highway access among other improvements that will cost 854 million pesos, nearly US $40 million.

The president likened the rail corridor to a rail-based Panama Canal to transport goods from Asian countries to the east coast of the United States.

Fiscal incentives such as tax breaks businesses located along Mexico’s northern border receive and a reduction in the price of electricity and gasoline will be offered to entice companies to set up along the Isthmus corridor. 

The isthmus project is designed to help develop the region by providing social and economic opportunities for residents as well as attracting international commerce to the area. The president is hopeful that new jobs created along the corridor will boost the economy in both Veracruz and Oaxaca and thus deter their citizens from migrating to the United States. 

The total project represents an investment by the federal government of 20 billion pesos, more than US $927 million.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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