Mexico to award fourth Mayan Train stretch to construction firm ICA

The fourth Mayan Train stretch will cover 257km in southeastern Mexico

Mexico to award fourth Mayan Train stretch to construction firm ICA
Mexico's president has put the multibillion-dollar Mayan Train project on a fast track – Photo: Marco Ugarte/AP
English 19/05/2020 17:32 Noé Cruz Serrano Mexico City Actualizada 19:12

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The Mexican government will directly award the fourth Mayan Train stretch to the Mexican construction firm ICA without holding a tender, according to Rogelio Jiménez Pons, director of the National Tourism Fund (FONATUR).

During President López Obrador’s morning news conference, Jiménez Pons revealed that the next contract for the Mayan Train project will be granted to ICA.

He explained that “we will announce on the next days the technical and legal details on the allocation.”

The fourth Mayan Train stretch will go all the way from Izamal to Cancún; it will be 257 km long and it will have three stops: Kantunil, Chichén Itza, and El Tinte Holbox.

The project includes nearly 1,460 km of railways in the Yucatán peninsula that will connect Tabasco, Campeche, Chiapas, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.

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The Mayan Train, which is a signature work of the López Obrador administration, will use the right of way of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Railway between Palenque and Valladolid.

From Valladolid, it will use the right of way of different infrastructures like roads, highways, and drivelines, among others, in order to reduce the environmental impact caused by the project and reduce the costs of the new rights of way.

Jiménez Pons said that during the investigation FONATUR made regarding rights of way, they discovered that Mexico did not have a register of many estates.

“We supposedly had rights of way but they were not registered,” he added.

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“We also found there were many claims lost by the federal government from people who had never been paid for the rights of way in their lands.”

So far, FONATUR has found pending payments worth MXN $750  million “and we’re still missing some rights of way in highways, such as the Carrillo Puerto case, where there are still pending payments from past trials,” he mentioned.

Regarding the hotel situation, he announced that there will be many products along the way of the Mayan Train.

“We’re looking to work together with landowners as a way for them to stay; we’re not buying [their land]; we want them to stay and have options to earn [money]: whether it is through sales or participations.

“The Mayan Train,” he stressed, “aims to involve landowners and neighbors.”

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