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AMLO promises action against polluting pig farms in Yucatán

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Yucatán is one of the largest pork producers in Mexico, its principal markets include China and the United States. Photo: Courtesy

Yucatán’s status as one of Mexico’s large pork producers employs thousands across the state. But this is not without its problems. 

According to a recent report issued by Mexico’s federal government, a great many of these pig farms do not meet even the most minimal environmental standards. 

On the Peninsula, 85% of the 257 registered pig farms are in Yucatán state. Up to 400 smaller farms operate in the region without any registry or supervision.

“Pig farms are becoming a huge environmental issue for Yucatán. It is important that the federal government make use of its powers and reinstate order,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said during a recent press conference. 

Complaints against pig farms in Yucatán are nothing new, as communities in areas such as Homún have for years now campaigned for their closure

“It is great that our struggle is now drawing so much support from across the country and abroad,” said environmental activist José Clemente May Echeverría.

In May, Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered the closure of a massive pig farm near Homún, on the grounds that its operation put locals at unacceptable levels of risk.

Earlier: Over 10 tons of garbage removed from 35 cenotes

Large-scale factory farms are now boasting high-tech mechanisms to protect the environment, but locals insist that regardless of measures, this industry is not welcome in the area.

When it comes to pig farms the largest concern is the large amount of organic waste produced which ends up filtering down and contaminating underground water sources. 

The largest pig farms in Yucatán house as many as 50,000 animals at a time that produce several times the amount of solid waste of a human being. 

Farms this size produce more excrement than the entire population of Tijuana, according to Greenpeace.

Aside from health and ecological concerns, one now-defunct pig farm had come under intense scrutiny because of the risk posed to the tourism industry in rural areas that largely depend on cenotes

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