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19 Dec 2019

Star Tribune

UN Mexico rights office criticizes government on Mayan Train

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…The Mexico office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a string of criticisms…of the government's handling of consultations with indigenous communities over a planned megaproject known as the Mayan Train in the country's southeast.

The agency, which said its observers attended a number of regional assemblies in late November and December, applauded Mexico for its stated intent of respecting and protecting indigenous rights and for the fact that the consultations took place before the project's execution.

But days after a referendum on the multibillion-dollar project that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said gave overwhelming support to the proposal, the U.N. office found that the consultations were flawed and the process "has not complied with all international standards on human rights."

The office said that during the assemblies, observers noted that only possible benefits of the project were mentioned and not "negative impacts" that could be caused. On multiple occasions, it said, participants asked about those potential impacts and did not receive a clear or complete answer…