TULUM, Mexico – The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) is facing accusations of withholding crucial information regarding the new Tulum airport. In its defense, the entity relies on the decree issued by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on May 18, which designates the Tren Maya, the Interoceanic Corridor, and the airports of Palenque, Chetumal, and Tulum as national security and public interest projects.
This contentious decree has sparked controversy and criticism from civil organizations and environmental defenders who argue that its implementation restricts access to key information about projects with significant environmental and social impacts. In the specific case of the Tulum airport, Semarnat has utilized this measure to deny the release of information concerning the establishment of material banks within the Maya jungle.
Material banks are areas where resources such as sand, gravel, and other materials necessary for infrastructure construction are extracted and stored. In the case of the Tulum airport, the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) is utilizing these material banks for construction purposes. However, the lack of transparency regarding the exact locations of these banks and their environmental implications has raised concerns among environmental defenders and the local community.
The opacity surrounding the Tulum airport’s material banks raises questions about the protection and preservation of the Maya jungle, one of Mexico’s most important and biodiverse natural areas. This region harbors a wide variety of unique species and ecosystems that require careful and sustainable management.
The lack of precise information about the material banks prevents society and environmental organizations from adequately assessing the environmental impact of the construction works and monitoring compliance with environmental regulations and safeguards. Moreover, it limits citizen participation and the possibility of raising well-founded objections in the decision-making process.
It is important to emphasize that transparency and citizen participation are fundamental pillars in the implementation of sustainable development projects. Public information and accountability are key to ensuring environmental protection and the rights of affected communities.
Faced with this situation, various concerned organizations and citizens have urged Semarnat to disclose the location of the Tulum airport’s material banks and provide detailed information about the measures taken to mitigate potential environmental impacts. They also urge the entity to create spaces for dialogue and consultation with civil society in order to foster citizen participation and promote sustainable development that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders.
In a context where environmental preservation and ecosystem protection are of vital importance, it is crucial that the relevant authorities promote transparency and accountability in large-scale projects such as the Tulum airport. Active participation from society and the availability of clear and accessible information are essential to ensure that the decisions made are responsible and sustainable in the long term.
The opacity surrounding the Tulum airport’s material banks, protected by President López Obrador’s decree, poses significant challenges to transparency and citizen participation in development projects. It is imperative that the competent authorities address these concerns and ensure an appropriate balance between public infrastructure development, environmental protection, and respect for the rights of local communities.