People walking through a serene garden pathway flanked by lush greenery and framed by textured white columns.

Controversy as Mexico’s Defense Ministry Plans Hotel in Jaguar Park

Mexico's Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) has requested construction permits from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) to build a hotel in the Jaguar National Park reserve. The construction had already commenced before the necessary permits were obtained.

Sedena has now submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to formalize the construction permits for the hotel, which will be situated within the protected natural area. The proposed location is at the entrance to Tulum, near a disused airstrip and within the Jaguar National Park's sphere of influence, which was recently declared a Natural Protected Area (NPA).

The project involves the construction of a hotel and associated infrastructure in Tulum, Quintana Roo, including a connecting road. The plan includes various stages such as site preparation, construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual site abandonment, as outlined in the EIS.

The Federal Government intends to invest 684.9 million pesos in the project, which is considered supplementary to the nearby Maya Train station. Additional components and works have been agreed upon to support the construction of the regional railway project 'Maya Train'.

Construction has already begun, with military engineers having started work on the project last year. The hotel is intended to complement the Maya Train, similar to developments in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve NPA.

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However, the project has faced criticism for commencing without the necessary Environmental Impact Statement for the change of land use in forest lands. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not yet provided a completion deadline for the hotel project, unlike the Maya Train, which is expected to be finished before the end of his six-year term.