Over 2,000 Hectares Expropriated for Tren Maya

One of the construction sites of the Mexican federal government’s Tren Maya project. Photo: Google


The federal government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has so far expropriated more than 2,000 hectares of private land for the construction of the Tren Maya, one of his pet megaprojects.

According to a report by Mexican daily newspaper Reforma on Wednesday, May 24, López Obrador has resorted to decrees and “public utility declarations” — 27 of them to date — to get his way. Thanks to these decrees and declarations, AMLO has already successfully expropriated a total of 2,038 hectares for his priority railway project. Most of the private plots of land that have been expropriated for the Tren Maya are located in the Mexican states of Campeche and Quintana Roo.

Most recently, on Friday, May 19, the president ordered the Mexican Navy to seize private railway lines operated by Ferrosur in the coastal Mexican state of Veracruz owned by Grupo México — the third-largest business conglomerate in the country — that cross the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

“The government must carry out about 500 expropriations for current projects, because it is a procedure established by law,” said López Obrador on the morning of Tuesday, May 23. “Most of the time, they are expropriations arranged with the affected, the private owners, because that way the process is expedited.”

On Thursday, May 18, the Secretariat of the Interior (SeGob) published a decree that declared the Tren Maya, the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the airports of Palenque, Chetumal and Tulum as “priority works of national and public interest,” and therefore expropriations of private plots of land are required to finish these projects.

The Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (Sedatu) has likewise released its own decrees defending the expropriation of private land. “The expropriation is necessary for the constructions and installations of public priority projects, even private real estate,” said the Sedatu in one of its decrees.

The first decree of expropriation to benefit the Tren Maya was announced on Jan. 17, 2022, when the federal government declared 198 private properties — located in the municipalities of Benito Juárez, Solidaridad and Puerto Morelos in Quintana Roo — as public utilities.

The last decree was issued on May 15, when the government subsequently occupied an area of ​​8,118 square meters of two privately owned buildings located in the Municipality of Othón P. Blanco, also in Quintana Roo.

“The Tren Maya is a project aimed at increasing the economic benefits of tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula, creating jobs, promoting sustainable development, protecting the area’s environment by discouraging activities such as illegal logging and wildlife trafficking and promoting the territory of the region,” said one of the decrees.

Likewise, on Monday, May 22, López Obrador ordered the expropriation of 113,838 square meters of private land in the municipalities of Tultitlán, Tultepec and Nextlalpan in the State of Mexico (EdoMéx) for the expansion of his Suburban Train to funnel passengers to the hard-to-get Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA).

One comment

Leave a Reply