Maya people from Yucatán stand up for their rights

The government did not ask for the consent of the Mayan people of this region to carry out activities of such strong environmental impact in an area with such a fragile and sensitive ecosystem, close to the coast, putting cenotes, wetlands and biodiversity at risk.

The Consejo Maya del Poniente de Yucatán Chik’in Ja’ – Equipo Indignación A.C. (Mayan Council of the Yucatan Chik’in Ja ‘- Outrage Team A.C.), issued the following statement on March 20th, 2019:

With the objective of defending the environment, our territory and our rights as Maya people, the communities of the western part of Yucatan have initiated actions of denunciation and organization against the state authorities and the private initiative.

Today we present a POPULAR DENOUNCE, against who is responsible, for facts, actions and omissions that have produced deforestation, ecological imbalance, damage to the environment and natural resources, as well as violation of the legal provisions that regulate the protection of the environment, as well as the preservation and restoration of the ecological balance.

The popular complaint is presented to the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), through the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), both federal government agencies, as well as to the Secretariat of Sustainable Development of the Government of Yucatan.

In the denunciation of facts, residents of Kinchil state that ever since the Poultry Company Kekén began operations they noticed a reduction in the population of bees and honey harvests and subsequently the loss of livestock. So they investigated through the area and found swamps of black waters (sewage), that they attribute to the company Kekén.

According to the facts, this swine company, together with the Kúo group, started operations in 2010. Kekén then offered the population employment, “economic improvement” and a better quality of life, but they also initiated a process of land dispossession and today, there are agrarian disputes that have not been concluded.

Now Keken intends to grow in our territory and increase its production of pork meat.

Neither at the beginning of their operations nor now obtained the consent of the Maya people of this region to carry out activities of such strong environmental impact in an area with such a fragile and sensitive ecosystem, close to the coast, putting cenotes, wetlands and biodiversity at risk.

We are the Maya people who have to be empowered to take care of our territory or authorize any activity that is intended to develop on it. Unfortunately we have found that investors from outside and many “federal and state” authorities care little about water, life, land and the environment. Much less about our rights as a people.

We, as Maya people, ask ourselves what water our families and children are going to drink, what water the deer, birds and other animals are going to drink. Investors do not care. They intend to extract, produce, enrich themselves and they do not care if damage and contamination is generated in the process.

When announcing the presentation of this popular denunciation we also announce the beginning of all the necessary actions to assert our rights as a Maya people, to defend our territory and to take care of the water and the environment in the face of ambition and dispossession.

We have set out to obtain all available information about how the permits were obtained and what the current pollution situation is. We will take the defense and care of our territory and heritage in our own hands as Maya people.

We demand the attention of the popular denunciation to investigate and stop the contamination and we announce the beginning of the organization among peoples of the west and others that want to join so that we are taken into account in the National Development Plan, since human and productive activities are being promoted in the territories of the western zone, that do not correspond to the local context of the Maya communities, because the entry of megaprojects has promoted destruction and the creation of new risks and real environmental disasters, causing damages and negative effects in our communities. We make an invitation to those who want to join this organization among the Mayan people of the Yucatan Peninsula to defend life.

We have requested the advice and collaboration of the Indignación (Outrage) team for some of the actions that we are initiating in defense of our rights as Maya people and most importantly to defend our water, ans this is the popular complaint that we present today.

Merida, Yucatan, March 20, 2019

Source: Consejo Maya del Poniente de Yucatán Chik’in Ja’ – Equipo Indignación A.C.