More CFE meters dredged from the bottom of a cenote

Volunteers cleaning the cenote found 95 CFE electrical meters but said that more could still be down there. Photo: Courtesy.
Volunteers cleaning the cenote found 95 CFE electrical meters but said that more could still be down there. Photo: Courtesy.

The CFE is investigating how another 95 of its electricity meters ended up in a cenote in Yucatán.

Over 100 utility meters were dredged from the same cenote in December.

Removing or modifying electricity meters is considered a crime under Mexican law. Nonetheless, the vandalization and misuse of CFE meters are fairly common. 

The penalty for modifying a single CFE meter is three to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 66,000 pesos.

The discovery was made by a team of volunteers who were cleaning out Chen Há cenote in the municipality of Kopomá.

“These types of apparatus have components such as lead, magnets, and copper which can be extremely detrimental to the ecosystem of a cenote. We have found much dead fish at the bottom, dumping these components here was extremely irresponsible,” said volunteer leader and underwater speleologist, Sergio Grosjean Abimerhi.

Ridding cenotes of garbage is an ongoing effort. In January, Grosjean Abimerhi recruited local volunteers from several municipalities to remove over 10 tons of solid waste from other cenotes in Yucatán. 

Earlier: New rules in Yucatán ban the use of polystyrene

The discarded devices were handed over to CFE authorities who said that they would attempt to collect what relevant information they could from them before recycling their salvageable materials and properly disposing of the rest.

The utility company said that many of the electricity meters had been submerged for decades, but that it was still possible to tell where they had been taken from because of their serial numbers.  

Authorities and environmental groups continue to highlight the importance of efforts to remove garbage from the state’s cenotes, but said civil society needs to play a greater role in environmental conservation and stewardship.

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.