Mérida, Yucatán, (May 18, 2021).- This Wednesday, May 19, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) will discuss whether or not suspend the operation of the pig farm owned by the company Producción Alimentaria Porcícola (PAPO), partner of Grupo Porcícola Mexicano (Kekén) remains firm or not. The operations of this factory have been paralyzed since October 9, 2018, due to the suspension granted by Judge Miriam de Jesús Cámara Patrón from the protection promoted by six girls and boys from Homún, a Maya town in Yucatán located in the Anillo Geohydrological Reserve of the Cenotes.
The Homún municipality has been fighting against the establishment of the PAPO pig farm since the end of 2016, when that company obtained permits irregularly and without consulting the people. The factory threatens to contaminate the water of this recognized source that is an aquifer recharge zone, thin the air and affect the health of girls and boys, as well as that of all the inhabitants of Homún, whose right to freedom has violated self-determination, including the right to prior, free and informed consultation, in addition to representing a threat to their way of life and the source of their income: cenote ecotourism. Among the human rights violations that the pig farm has generated are mainly the right to health, water, a healthy environment and free, prior and informed consent and culturally appropriate.
Thus, the SCJN, when ruling on the case, will have the opportunity to set precedents on the suspensions during the injunction trial, on the precautionary principle in environmental matters and on the best interests of children:
The precautionary principle maintains that, when serious environmental damage can be foreseen, the demonstration that the damage has already taken place should not be required, since many times the environmental damage is slow and invisible, but when it is consumed, it is irreparable. Even when total certainty is lacking and there is a panorama of uncertainty, the authorities must adopt measures that prevent environmental damage in time and thus give the opportunity to carry out all the necessary tests. In this sense, we urge that the SCJN consider in its decision the Amicus Curiae that has been signed and sent to the Court by organizations such as Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, Greenpeace Mexico, Waterkeeper Alliance, as well as by other experts on the subject.
The best interests of the children: The SCJN must guarantee the right of children to grow up in a healthy environment, which is directly related to the right to water, health, and a decent life.
We trust that the decision of the first chamber of the SCJN will take into account the voice of the Maya people of Homún municipality, mainly affected by the pig farm owned by PAPO. The Court’s decision will also impact other Maya communities that, following Homún’s example, are also fighting against the establishment of this type of pig industry factories.