Animal organizations and social researchers considered it necessary to take measures to avoid the possible extinction of a species representative of the culture of the indigenous peoples, such as the Maquech or Mayan beetle in Yucatan.
The president of the Citizen Animal Movement (MAC), Ernesto Maurín Guerrero, explained in an interview for Notimex that as part of the fight for animal rights in the country, we must avoid putting endemic species associated with productive and cultural activities at risk.
“It is absolutely vital to ensure the sustainability and permanence of all animals, including entomological species (insects) such as the Maquech,” he said.
He also recalled that in recent days there was a national march for the defense of animal rights, which was joined by several local associations in Mérida, Yuc. Among other demands, activists ask the state of Yucatan to adopt in its Constitution the right of animals as “sentient beings”; meaning that they have feelings just like humans, as it was recently approved in Mexico City.
“But when talking about animals, the whole animal kingdom should be included and that includes birds, fish, reptiles and insects such as the Maquech. This would be a factor that harms people who still make commercial use of that species”, he said.
“The danger that runs with a law of that scope is that we should go out in defense of the fish, for example, because they suffer when they are caught, but fishing is vital for thousands of families in the Yucatan,” he said.
In such a way, the controversy that would cause far from helping a better coexistence between humans and animals, could result in a major discussion.
“In the specific case of the Maquech, I think the most important thing is to take measures to prevent the species from becoming extinct, and in any case its use and exploitation are free of cruelty and are sustainable,” he added.
The researcher of Maya Culture Fredy Poot Sosa also considered that although the Maquech has a cultural and economic weight for some indigenous communities, the most important thing is to prevent the species from disappearing.
“I think that more than cultural, today the Maquech has a more commercial and tourist value, and that can put at risk the populations of that species that in reality are not as extensive as they were until a few years ago. Therefore, regardless of whether or not they should have constitutional rights, the main thing is that measures are taken to ensure their conservation,” he said.
“I must say that in this case, and very personally, I believe the fight for animals rights makes sense because it is closely linked to the Maya thought that all species are important, absolutely all and that includes insects,” he said.
Although he insisted that putting a law that recognizes on paper the rights of animals may not be as effective as implementing more effective programs and actions to prevent their extinction due to human activities, such as in the case of the mythical Maquech.
In a previous report, the independent specialist in Management of Tropical Natural Resources Jesus Valentin Miss Dominguez said that, although the species is not officially considered as endangered, the people who dedicate themselves to its collection mentioned that each time they must travel further into the forest to find them.
The word Maquech, it is believed, comes from the word máakech which means “you are a man” and it is estimated that some 3,000 copies are collected and marketed annually in the state of Yucatán.
TYT Newsroom with information from yucatan.com.mx