Zapatistas Mark 26th Anniversary Rejecting Mayan Train Project

Published January 4, 2020

Zapatistas Mark 26th Anniversary Rejecting Mayan Train Project

The movement warned that will defend the land until death if necessary.

The Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) celebrated Wednesday the 26th anniversary of its uprising in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas by rejecting the Mayan Train project, one of the most ambitious proposals of President Andres Lopez Obrador.

In a statement read by Subcommandante Moises, the EZLN indicated that the consultations carried out by the government “have been simulated” and have not included “the opinion of all the indigenous population. He expressed that the round of consultations only spoke of how good the mega-project would be, but did not detail the misfortunes it would bring for the people and for nature.

The Mexican Ministry of Interior claimed on Dec. 14 that the Indigenous communities in the Yucatan Peninsula and the state of Chiapas both located in the southeastern part of the country accepted “by consensus and without opinion against” for the construction of the Mayan Train.

Despite the alleged popular consent, Moises called Lopez Obrador a “foreman” and added that his government “challenged all the native peoples” without caring about “what we think and feel” because he intends to “do what his boss capitalism orders.”

The EZLN leader pointed out that the Mexican government challenges them with the project on Indigenous territories, and warned that the movement will defend the land “until death if necessary.”

The ‘Mayan Train’ is a large-scale infrastructure project set to connect the whole Yucatan Peninsula for tourism, transportation, and economic purposes. The train would run 1,525 kilometers and connect the Riviera Maya resorts with archaeological sites in the interior of the peninsula.