GMOs, pesticides and deforestation persist in the Yucatan Peninsula

According to La Jornada Maya, a group of officials who, in the last six-year period, committed different abuses in the process of consultation with the Maya indigenous peoples on the use of transgenic seeds in the Yucatan Peninsula, has been hired by the current administration, in a case of “administrative impunity “which demonstrates the lack of capacity of the state authorities to investigate and punish bad public servants.

This was stated by Carlos Scoffie, lawyer of the Collective of Maya Communities of Los Chenes, who stressed that, in addition to this type of questionable appointments, bad practices such as illegal planting of transgenic soybeans, aerial spraying with pesticides and massive deforestation for rice cultivation persist in the region.

In an interview with La Jornada Maya, the attorney recalled that in 2015 the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation cancelled the authorization granted by the Mexican government in 2012 to the Monsanto company, for the planting of transgenic soybeans, and ordered a consultation to be carried out with the indigenous peoples of Campeche and Yucatán before granting a new permit.

This consultation was organized by the Inter-secretarial Commission of Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms (Cibiogem), a governmental agency in which Marco Antonio Ramírez and Sol Ortiz worked, and these two individuals are pointed out by the communities as responsible for various abuses, acts of discrimination against indigenous communities and disparaging the possible environmental damage that transgenics would cause.

“In spite of this situation, both officials were appointed in new public positions in this administration: Ramírez as legal director of the National Service of Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality, and Ortiz as coordinator of the preparation of the National Strategy for Conservation and Use of Sustainable Pollinators, both of them as part of the Ministry of Agriculture”, Scoffie said,.

“If this admnistration wants to do things differently, why are they appointing the same two officials who committed abuses during the indigenous consultation process. Both have a greater responsibility now, they have placed obstacles to prevent the consultation to be carried out since 2015, and they will continue to do so “said the lawyer.

After condemning this act of “administrative impunity,” Scoffie warned that in various municipalities of Campeche, especially in Hopelchén, serious abuses continue to occur, such as illegal planting of transgenic soybeans – in particular by Mennonite groups – in addition to illegal deforestation for rice cultivation.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom with information from La Jornada Maya

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