TULUM, Mexico – A second case of water contamination in cenotes has been attributed to the construction of the Tren Maya Phase 5 South. The discovery of potential fuel residues and recurring turbidity in the water resource has brought this issue to light once again.
This occurrence adds to the ongoing situation in Dos Ojos, Tulum, where the turbidity has been evident in the submerged caves that are part of the expansive Sac Actún system, one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems.
The latest incident, as documented by Sélvame del Tren, involves contamination within the Tajma Ha system, located within the territory of Solidaridad and traversed by the Tren Maya. Over the past weekend, environmentalists visited the site, situated near the Xpu-Há resort. Notably, the Manitas cave was explored, adorned with ancient cave paintings on its walls. Positioned directly beneath the railway line, a video shared on social media by Elías Sienbenborn reveals ceiling collapses within the cave vaults. Furthermore, the video highlights the persistent turbidity in the water.
This specific site stands as one of the most delicate points along the entire railway route, vulnerable to disruptions caused during the right-of-way clearing for the railroad.
“We are witnessing fallen ceilings…stalactites that have recently collapsed. It’s not something that happened a while ago…it reeks of diesel, and the diesel smell lingers,” remarked Elías Sienbenborn.
José Urbina Bravo, an environmentalist who has initiated legal action against federal projects through an indirect amparo petition, also joined in voicing concerns about the destruction of significant portions of the jungle. He lamented the continuous degradation of these crucial natural landscapes.
In stark contrast to the progress seen in construction near populated centers like Playa del Carmen and Tulum, the remote areas, as depicted in satellite images from Sentinel 2, reveal incomplete deforestation in many instances.
Measuring approximately 62 kilometers, the Phase 5 South segment of the Tren Maya extends from the northwest side of Playa del Carmen and concludes at Tulum.
This stretch remains particularly contentious, as it was precisely here that environmentalists filed legal petitions for amparo, cases that are still being adjudicated within federal courts.