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Judge temporarily shuts down Homún pig farm

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Mérida, Yucatán — A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a huge pig farm in the cenote zone, a victory for the protestors who have rallied against it for more than a year.

The corporate pig farm in Homún was announced in August 2017 and began operations in September. Neighbors fear that waste from the farm will contaminate ground water and foul their sacred cenotes.

Groundwater could become contaminated from waste generated by as many as 50,000 pigs, critics complain. The 120-hectare/297-acre property is within a nationally protected water reserve.

The region is a rural destination known for a network of underground swimming holes that the Maya consider sacred. Communities also depend on eco-tourism that is driven by the series of cenotes.

The federal ruling came 14 days after villagers and activists symbolically closed the pig complex and six days after federal regulators attempted, and failed, to shut down five cenotes connected to a leader of the protest group. Profepa’s retaliation was met with forceful resistance from locals.

The judge on Tuesday will decide whether the closure of the pig farm will be permanent, said two protest groups, Comité Ka’anan Ts’onot (Guardians of the Cenotes) and Equipo Indignación (Outrage Team).

According to a communiqué from both groups, the federal judge ordered the immediate suspension of operations of the Porcícola Megagranja based on a filing representing six children and adolescents in Homún who said the operation put them at risk.

The minors “claimed violations of the rights to water, to a healthy environment … as well as to human rights and development, all in relation to the obligation of the authorities to enforce the right of the higher interest of childhood and adolescence, rights contained in the Constitution and in International Treaties on Human Rights.”

When ordering the suspension, provisionally issued as a precautionary measure, the judge recognized as a possibility and risk that “the operation of the pig farm will affect multiple rights, including those related to a healthy environment, a dignified life, water and to the ecological balance.”

The provisional injunction obliges Porcícola Alimentary Production (Papo), Sociedad de Producción Rural de Responsabilidad Limitada de Capital Variable to stop all activity at the farm.

State and municipal authorities were ordered to enforce the injunction.

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