Judge denies suspending environmental permit for section of the Mayan Train

Victor Fuentes / Reform

Friday, August 05, 2022 | 10:16

Federal judge Adrián Novelo refused to suspend the environmental impact authorization for the Cinco Sur subsection of the Mayan Train, so it is increasingly likely that there will be no new obstacles to carrying out the work between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Novelo today denied provisionally suspending the June 20 official letter with which the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) authorized, in a conditional manner, the Environmental Impact Statement (MIA) of the 67.6-kilometer subsection.

The judge also refused to suspend the effects and consequences of the land use authorizations that the Municipalities of Solidaridad and Tulum issued for the project.

“The complaining party is denied the provisional suspension that it requests regarding the acts that it claims…since they are declaratory acts, which do not have a principle of execution, since it is only limited to evidencing a legal situation, therefore that there is no reason to grant the precautionary measure,” explained Novelo.

Environmental organizations and residents of Quintana Roo who litigate these injunctions can challenge the refusal to suspend the MIA before the Collegiate Labor and Administrative Court in Yucatan, which will have 48 hours to resolve.

For its part, Novelo will notify between August 11 and 12 if it grants or denies the definitive suspension against the MIA and the land use authorizations, but everything indicates that it will deny them.

The complainants in the amparos affirm that Semarnat approved the EIS -which for the Cinco Sur subsection implies the clearing of almost 500 hectares of jungle- without having proven the degree of affectation of the environmental damage or restoration actions.

This Tuesday, the Judge revoked the definitive suspensions that he had granted in amparos 884, 923 and 1003 of 2022, which since last April prohibited the works, precisely because the Government started them without having presented the MIA.

The suspensions were revoked because Semarnat informed the judge that the government had already complied with the three conditions imposed on it, when authorizing the MIA, as prior to the start of works.

The provisional suspensions of amparos 820 and 821 of 2022, meanwhile, are still in force, but it is foreseeable that Novelo will deny the definitive suspensions next week.

With no current suspensions, the amparo trials will lose their usefulness, since eventual sentences in which the complainants are right will arrive when the work is almost finished or even in operation.

The Judge also has yet to resolve whether the Government violated the suspensions by resuming work about three weeks ago, alleging that the Mayan Train was declared a national security project. The suspension violation incident hearing will be on August 10th.

The federal government plans to invest 31.5 billion pesos for the Cinco Sur subsection, under the responsibility of the Secretary of National Defense, after the contract with the Grupo México-Acciona consortium was terminated.

For the Cinco Norte subsection, 43.5 kilometers from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, authorization from the MIA is pending. The expected cost is 28 thousand 100 million pesos.

Leave a Comment