Chopping down a tree to be considered a felony in Yucatán

Yucatan will raise to felony the felling of trees, with a sentence of up to two years of imprisonment on one or more urban trees destroyed without prior authorization issued by the corresponding municipal and state authorities.

On Wednesday June 3rd, in plenary session of the State Congress, the president of the Permanent Commission of Justice, Luis Borjas Romero, presented the initiative of reform to the Penal Code of the State in the matter of crimes against the environment, as well as to Article 41 of the Law of Conservation and Development of the Urban Tree of the State, which was issued on May 10, 2017.

Borjas Romero stated that the legislation establishes that anyone who intends to prune, tear down or transplant trees on public roads must request authorization from the corresponding municipality and mentions that the cutting of a tree root will be allowed in those cases in which the technical decision makers determine the need for security of real estate or urban infrastructure, with prior authorization from the municipality.

“Urban trees in Merida and across the State continue being cut down and demolished with impunity,” said the congressman.

He cited the cases occurred in the central ridges of Avenida Líbano (North of Mérida), and in the San José Tzal police station, where a tree over 100 years old was cut down. He also mentioned that other big trees on Prolongatción Montejo were knocked down for no reason.

“The Law of Environmental Protection in its article 143 states that only environmental crimes will be considered in the Criminal Code of the State, so we propose to amend the third chapter of the State Criminal Code, to raise to criminal offense the demolition of one or more urban trees, without the corresponding official authorization, “he stressed.

“The initiative considers imposing from six months to two years in prison, to anyone who tears down one or more urban trees without prior authorization issued by the corresponding authority, in contravention to the provisions of Article 41 of the Law of Conservation and Development of the Urban Forest of State of Yucatan, “he said.

He explained that with the approval of the legislative proposal any citizen or civil society organization will be able to document and file a complaint with the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office for Electoral and Environmental Crimes for possible criminal acts against the environment and especially against the State’s natural patrimony, such as they are the emblematic trees and the urban ones of the localities.


Did you know that in recent times there has been an increase in illegal felling of trees around the world? The main reason would appear to be that the timber from the trees is being sold either as a fuel supply or it is transformed into furniture, paper or parts for construction. Especially in central Mexican states such as Estado de México, Michoacán, Morelos, Puebla, etc. where thousands of trees are being illegally felled in the most unpunished way.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom



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