Pigs of various sizes inside a barn with feeding equipment and ventilation systems.

26 Yucatán Pig Farms Fined for Environmental Violations: Shocking Consequences Unveiled

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA) has penalized 26 pig farms on the Yucatán Peninsula for breaching environmental regulations. These fines were imposed following a formal appeal from the Centre for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace, who highlighted the pollution caused by these establishments.

These organizations also encouraged the Federal Government to support a plea from 21 Mayan communities. These communities are advocating for a halt on the approval of all new farms in Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo. This plea has yet to receive a response. “Mexico should have taken action earlier, but I am glad that these appalling pig farms are finally facing consequences,” stated Hannah Connor, deputy director of environmental health at the Centre for Biological Diversity.

Connor emphasized the importance of protecting the cenotes, culturally significant and internationally recognized natural pits, that lie beneath many of the industrial pig farms in Yucatán. She expressed hope that environmental authorities will consult with indigenous communities and grant the moratorium requested by the Mayan people.

In response to the outcry from environmental protection organizations, Profepa confirmed that they would inspect the 26 farms before issuing fines, a process which has now been completed.

“We will continue to address the issues arising from pig farm development on the Yucatán Peninsula,” the federal agency announced. While Profepa did not explicitly state the reasons for the penalties, it is understood that they were due to breaches of environmental laws under the agency's jurisdiction.

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Carlos Samayoa, a Greenpeace Mexico activist, highlighted the significant impact of mega pig farms on Mexico's ecosystems. “In recent years, they have led to the deforestation of around 11 thousand hectares of jungle on the Yucatán Peninsula. These industrial complexes are largely responsible for soil degradation, water pollution and climate change. The penalties are a step in the right direction, but authorities need to increase their efforts to prevent this model from continuing. It is clearly against sustainability and social welfare for these farms to keep expanding in Mexico. The voice of the communities must be heard,” he said.

Over 200 pig farms are concentrated on the Yucatán Peninsula, with 86% located in Yucatán and the remainder in Campeche and Quintana Roo. The area most affected by these farms is the Geohydrological Reserve Ring of Cenotes, which extends from Homún to the crater area in Chicxulub Puerto, the site of a historic meteorite impact.