San Felipe is a coastal town in the state of Baja California, located 196 kilometers (122 miles) south of the state capital Mexicali.
The local fishermen have been protesting against the ban imposed by the Mexican government four years ago, allegedly to preserve two endangered species, the “Vaquita Marina” and the “Totoaba“.
And despite the ban, many fishing boats have ventured into the sea in recent days, and even when President Lopez Obrador said that there wouldn’t be any sort of reprisals against them if they took to sea to fish, the Mexican Navy opened fire against some of them on the early morning hours of Thursday March 28th, according to sources from SISTEMA DIGITAL de NOTICIAS MEXICALI.
Initially, there was a version of a dead fisherman, but later on this was denied, and now it is known that the fihserman did not die, but was badly injured.
The fishing ban in San Felipe has been imposed due to pressure from international organizations, and celebrities like Leonardo Di Caprio, who think they are defending the vaquita and the totoaba, both endemic species of the Colorado Delta.
The Colorado River Delta, located in the Mexican state of Baja California, is the region where the Colorado River flows into the Gulf of California. The delta is part of a larger geologic region called the “Salton Trough”.
However, according to information published by The Baja Post news website, most people seem to ignore that the unbalance of salty and fresh waters in the Colorado Delta is the real cause of the vaquita marina population dwindling. And this unbalance has been caused by the management and handling of the Colorado River waters controlled by the government of the United States of America.
People of San Felipe react to the attack against fishermen by the Mexican Navy
“The people went out of control and burned part of the buildings and boats of the Federal Environmental Attorney (PROFEPA)”, said San Felipe fishermen leader Lorenzo García in a phone interview with The Baja Post on Thursday March 28.
“I lead an organization of legit fishermen, I don´t really know exactly what happened this morning, all we know is that a member of our community was injured by the Mexican Navy. The man is alive as far as we know, but we do not have exact information on the identity of this victim though”.
He also said that the people of San Felipe are very angry. Mr. García has tried to calm them down but it´s almost impossible. “We had never suffered such a situation. And the people attacking PROFEPA facilities are not only fishermen but other angry residents of San Felipe, Baja California”, he added.
Finally, Baja California State Governor Francisco Vega confirmed on Thursday March 28, that three fishermen suspected of illegal poaching were injured in a confrontation with Mexican marines (SEMAR) in San Felipe. One man, identified as 37-year-old Enrique García Sandez, known as “Kiki,” was transported to a hospital in Mexicali with serious injuries.
The governor said the shooting is being investigated, but asked for calm as the facts of the case are yet to be confirmed.
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