Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Concerned over Maya Train, champion free diver invites AMLO to swim in cenotes

Concerned about the impact the construction of the Maya Train railroad will have on the cenotes, or natural sinkholes, of Quintana Roo, a champion free driver has challenged President López Obrador and other officials to submerge themselves in their waters.

Camila Jaber said in an open letter to the president that construction of the new route of the railroad between Cancún and Tulum will cause untold damage to the entire system of flooded caves in the Riviera Maya.

She believes that authorities will be more likely to scrap the project if they experience the wonders of cenotes themselves. So she invited López Obrador, Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín and National Tourism Promotion Fund director Javier May to swim or dive in those along the proposed Maya Train route.

“I want to invite you to submerge yourselves in the waters of these incomparable spaces, to allow their .. rays of light to envelop you, to dive in their caves and go into the veins and arteries through which the water that keeps us alive runs,” Jaber wrote.

After that experience, she challenged the officials to “look us in the eye and dare to tell us that … the construction of the tracks won’t affect the stability of our marvelous Mayan worlds.”

Jaber, who can spend as long as three minutes underwater without oxygen, asserted that the conservation of the subterranean water network on the Yucatán Peninsula is a “matter of national security,” whereas construction of the US $8 billion, 1,500-kilometer Maya Train railroad clearly is not.

The infrastructure project will bring “enormous benefits” to a select few but cause irreparable damage to the environment, she said, denouncing the construction of tracks “over such vulnerable ecosystems.”

Section 5 of the Maya Train railroad was moved inland in Quintana Roo after the Playa del Carmen business community complained about the construction of the railroad through the center of that city. A swath of virgin forest has already been cleared to make way for the track, triggering a protest earlier this month.

With reports from Milenio and En Fuego

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