Maya indigenous community sues Hunucmá City Council, Conagua and SDS for environmental damage

Aerial view of cattle farm in San Antonio Chel (Photo: yucatan.com.mx)

The Maya indigenous community of San Antonio Chel, in the municipality of Hunucmá, Yucatán is proceeding legally against a cattle farm accusing them of polluting the water table and soil in the area. They also accuse the local government of granting permits.

According to information provided by the legal advisers of the residents of that town, on April 15 and injunction was filed and several Hunucma municipal officials were appointed for granting permits to allow the farm to operate, “with hundreds of cows that are polluting the groundwater of the area,” stipulates the document.

The inhabitants of San Antonio Chel sued the Hunucmá City Council, the National Water Commission (Conagua) and the Secretariat of Sustainable Development (SDS), arguing that they fail to comply with their constitutional obligations in terms of protecting the environment and their rights as a Maya indigenous community.

During the trial, the National Water Commission (Comisión Nacional del Agua: Conagua) acknowledged that up to this date, they had not granted any permission for the operation of this or any otehr farm in the area. This means that Conagua has not generated any type of control for this complex, that every day pours thousands of gallons of water full of the excrement of between 500 and 900 cows into the under water system of cenotes under the area, without any type of treatment (they don’t have a water treatment plant).

From the beginning of the operations of the farm, the inhabitants of San Antonio Chel realized that the water began to stink. At first, they sought to engage in dialogue with muncipal and state governments, as well as with the company responsible. However, despite promises and agreements taken that ended up being violated, the farm continues to operate and the water table and subsoil are being contaminating with impunity.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom



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