Yucatán businessman kills thousands of bees with pesticide (PART I)

At least 30 apiaries were struck by the indiscriminate use of pesticides in a nearby land, allegedly owned by Yucatecan bunessman Jacobo Xacur; Despite the evidence, the Office of the Environmental Prosecutor decided to overlook the matter.

Fumigation of corn and soybean crops caused the massive death of bees in the Mayan community of Dzonot Carretero, where a year after the event, beekeepers fail to recover from the loss; Although they filed a collective complaint, the Federal Prosecutor for Environmental Protection gave a binder to the matter in May, leaving impunity for the ecocide allegedly caused by Jacobo Xacur, an agro-industrialist from the region, who is also accused of cutting down at least 700 hectares of forest in the east of the state.

On July 11, 2018, Elviro Nahut Dzib went into the jungle to check his apiaries, when he realized that a helicopter was spraying Xacur’s land, adjacent to the ejido lands. So he armed himself with courage and accompanied by his son went to the site where the aircraft was being loaded with the pesticide and demanded the pilot to be careful not to spray the apiaries.

On the fourth day of the fumigation, the beekeepers saw how their bees began to die; after the pollinators went out to look for nectar, they returned intoxicated to the hives, the bees could not even manage to enter the hive, they looked disoriented, stunned and died in heaps. “Eight days after the helicopter sprayed the zone, the bees began to die,” recalls the old man under the sun’s rays, at more than 40 degrees of temperature. Don Elviro, 67, left the apiary intact while waiting for the environmental authorities to take samples and conduct the corresponding toxicological tests, in order to verify what caused the damage; The case attracted local journalists who took photos, but the authorities did not show up, so the hives were abandoned.

Don Elviro’s apiary is located in an area known as San Cosme, about 6 kilometers from the town, within the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, where the pink flamingo of the Caribbean nests.

The apiary borders the Rancho San Canuto, owned by the agribusinessman Jacobo Xacur, who, according to locals, is responsible for the massive death of bees and the clearing of at least 700 hectares of forest, the burning of cut material, contamination of cenotes and the ecological imbalance of the zone.

“We are surrounded… a businessman —Jacobo Xacur—, has bought Rancho Alegre; right next to our apiaries here, San Canuto; San Fernando, and another ranch called Chacantinil, all that is his property now…” said José Isabel Puc, another of the affected beekeepers.

“Of course he is spraying corn and soybeans, spraying pasture and all that is affecting us, because the bees go for nectar, pollen and everything they bring into the hive is totally contaminated, the bees eat it, consume it, they get sick, they weaken, and then they die ”explains Jose Isabel.

Therefore, seven of the affected beekeepers filed a collective complaint with the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa), but the authorities ignored them and closed the case without even going to verify the damages.

Although more than 30 beekeepers were damaged, they did not file a formal complaint for fear of reprisals, as several of their relatives work in the ranches of Jacobo Xacur; so only seven joined together to demand compensation and environmental justice that never came.

To be continued…

The Yucatan Times Newsroom



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