30,000 Million Dollars: These Are the Figures for the Mayan Train in Mexico

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Today AMLO travels on the Interoceanic Train of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. In the midst of this new test, the figures for the Mayan Train are known: triple what was originally budgeted, 30,000 million dollars .

Mayan train in Mexico

Photo: TW-JesusRCuevas


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Leer en español: 30.000 millones de dólares: Estas son las cifras del Tren Maya de México

The cost of the Mayan Train, a mega-project by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will be over 515,762 million pesos (29,736 million dollars) at the end of 2024 , about 3.3 times what was initially budgeted, according to an analysis by the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO).

Of this figure, 120,000 million pesos (about 6,900 million dollars) is the budget that the Ministry of Finance requested from Congress for next year, although the operation of the train is expected to start next December.

The figures of the controversial Mayan Train

In the official analysis of the Government of Mexico in 2019, it was estimated that the investment necessary for the project was around 156,000 million pesos (about 9,000 million dollars). But López Obrador's first figure was 120,000 million pesos (about 6,900 million dollars) in 2018, before taking office.

In 2024, "the Mayan Train will have a budget of 120,000 million pesos, which implies a cumulative total of 515,762 million pesos or more than half a trillion pesos in 2024. Thus, the priority infrastructure project of this Government will cost 3.3 times what was originally budgeted," IMCO summarized in a report after learning about the 2024 Economic Package.

At the end of July 2022, López Obrador accepted that the Mexican Government would invest up to $20 billion in the Mayan Train, in the southeast of the country, which would cost up to three times its estimated budget.

Later, López Obrador indicated on June 26 that the projected investment for this emblematic work would be between 15,000 and 20,000 million dollars.

The general director of the Mayan Train, General Óscar Lozano Águila, said that on September 1 the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur) transferred the control and operation of the company Tren Maya SA de CV to the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena).

The figures that go beyond money

Also, in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), five presidential decrees were published by which 336 hectares in different municipalities were expropriated "for reasons of public utility", including Othón P. Blanco and Felipe Carrillo Puerto; Quintana Roo, where the railway will pass.

As well as 215,530 square meters corresponding to 77 privately owned properties in the municipalities of Escárcega, Champotón and Campeche.

Read also: Mayan Train: Overshadowed by Environmental Damage and Impact on Communities

The work of the Mayan Train includes more than 1,500 kilometers of railway track for transporting cargo, tourists and local passengers in the five states of the southeast of the country : Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán.

The project has received criticism from organizations, environmentalists and politicians , who have asked to suspend the works in different sections due to environmental and community damage.