At least 10 people living in the sub-village of Santa María Chi, located in the northeast of the municipality of Mérida, have been diagnosed with various respiratory diseases due to recent burnings at a pig farm located just 200 meters from the community.
This information was revealed by the municipal sub-commissioner, Wilberth Alfonso Nahuat Puc, who pointed out that the Kekén farm, operating under the name Grupo Porcícola San Gerardo, has been operating in the village of just over 300 inhabitants for more than 20 years.
It started as a small farm, but since they partnered with the company that claims to be a leader in pork production, they began to expand secretly and built more than 70 barns, where they can produce up to 2,000 pigs per month.
In an interview with La Verdad Noticias, Nahuat Puc mentioned that being neighbors of a farm has caused various discomforts for the residents of Santa María Chi. They have had to endure foul odors and a change in the coloration of their well water.
However, he specified that the problems worsened since April 4 when, due to the high temperatures in the region, the vegetation on the farm’s land started to catch fire. Underneath the vegetation, there are layers of excrement that are discharged and dried after allegedly passing through a wastewater treatment plant.
The fire caused the entire village to be filled with smoke, and with it, the houses became permeated with a foul odor that has resulted in coughing, sore throat, pharyngitis, and even symptoms similar to Covid-19, he claimed.
The incident was not isolated, as another one occurred a week later. Then, on May 7, there was another fire, and finally, one occurred last Saturday, which tested the patience of the residents of Santa María Chi.
“On Saturday, the firefighters and the police arrived, but one unit remained outside and started sounding the siren to gain access. This alerted the neighbors, and they all gathered at the door to demand explanations about the odor and the constant fires,” Nahuat Puc recounted.