The Newsmakers

Will Mexico’s new president Lopez Obrador help the Chontal Maya?

The Chontal Maya are some of incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s biggest supporters. Lopez Obrador is from the area where the Chontal Maya have lived for centuries, the wetlands of Tabasco in southeastern Mexico. He started his career working for indigenous rights and helped the Chontal Maya get access to infrastructure, development and education. Lopez Obrador saw that the group was among the most impoverished in the country and yet they sat atop some of the most oil-rich land in all the country. 40 years later that land is being drilled for oil and many members in the community say that the state oil firm Pemex has polluted their lands and they are struggling to grow and crops and more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer. Guests Melissa Ortiz Masso – Business and Human Rights Resource Centre representative Bill Weinberg – Journalist and author

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