By KELIN DILLON
All proceeds from the Tren Maya, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s longtime pet project, will be given to Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), announced general director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) Rogelio Jiménez Pons on Monday, March 15.
The tourism official revealed to El Financiero that the complete 1,500-odd kilometers of the train project spanning across the Riviera Maya would be owned by the military, expanding beyond the original three sections they were proposed jurisdiction over.
The profits obtained from the train’s transportation of passengers and cargo will go into the Sedena pension fund that was previously bolstered by the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), and will go directly into the military’s coffers, instead of filtered through the SHCP as part of the expenditure budget.
“It is perfect that (Tren Maya) is an award to the armed forces,” said Jiménez Pons, applauding the move. “If we have a long-term nationalist vision of heritage, that this is a business, but of the state, we are going to try to make this a business for the benefit of the greatest number of Mexicans, what better way than the Army to take care of this business? It guarantees us many things, and particularly that it is not privatized.”
Jiménez Pons also noted the potential positive effects the new ownership would have on the region on the matter of “national security” due to the conflict zones in the area of the country the train runs through, including issues like cartel violence and human trafficking.
The move will likely be considered a win by López Obrador, who has regularly expanded the military’s influence in Mexico throughout his presidency on his quest to de-privatize the country.
…March 17, 2021