López Obrador Admits Damage to Cenote Due to Construction of the Maya Train


During this morning’s press conference, López Obrador acknowledged the damage to one of the cenotes resulting from the construction of the tourist train in Yucatán.

Today, Thursday, April 11, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador admitted there was an accident involving one of the cenotes on the Yucatán Peninsula, in the Mexican Caribbean, where a tourist train was built. The construction was questioned by environmentalists and specialists, foreseeing the damage it would cause to the area.

During the usual questioning at the morning press conference regarding the environmental impact of the “Maya Train” construction, López Obrador mentioned that it was a “single case” at a cenote, resulting from a concrete detachment, but did not go into details.

The Yucatán Peninsula is a region where several thousand caves and cenotes, ancient freshwater reservoirs, are found, which are one of the major tourist attractions of the Mexican Caribbean.

López Obrador clarified that the corresponding authorities are already resolving the accident and preventing this problem from recurring. “The solution is to clean because concrete did detach, and the entire site is being cleaned,” he expressed.

The network of caves, cenotes, and underground rivers on the Caribbean coast of Mexico is a very sensitive area from an environmental point of view. They are the only source of fresh water in the region, as there are no surface rivers on that limestone rock terrain.

In March, Guillermo DChristy, a speleologist, water quality expert, and one of the many activists who have denounced the environmental dangers of López Obrador’s government’s flagship project, released a video showing a drill in operation over a cenote in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, where a court ordered a temporary suspension of the works.

DChristy reported that wood had been placed at the entrance of the cenote to prevent documenting the damage in the area and assured that the groundwater of the caves had been contaminated by the structures supporting the 1,500-kilometer tourist train.

The Maya Train, which involved an investment of 20 billion dollars, was inaugurated by the president at the end of last year. The works were carried out by the armed forces, whose tasks have multiplied during López Obrador’s six-year term. The government has given them the management of several airports and customs, public security activities, distribution of vaccines and medicines, and control of an airline.

At the beginning of the year, the Mexican ecologist denounced that several drillings were being carried out and huge steel and cement pillars were being installed in the network of caves and cenotes on the Yucatán Peninsula.

“They are drilled, and concrete is being injected into them,” said DChristy, acknowledging that “we already have at least 12 large drillings… Massifying tourism, massifying real estate developments, and running a train through the jungle is the worst ecocide that has been done in this place.”

The region also has significant archaeological value because some of the oldest human remains in North America have been discovered there. As the caves were dry about 10,000 years ago, humans and animals used them before they were flooded at the end of the last Ice Age, about 8,000 years ago, preserving many of the remains from the site.

 Source: El Informador