In representation of their community of Homún, Maribel Ek Can, José Clemente May Echeverría and Doroteo Hau Kue accepted the “Corazón de León” award from the University of Guadalajara’s student federation.
The recognition comes as Homún continues to fight against pig farms, which locals say produce dangerous levels of pollutants that seep into their groundwater.
“We present this award to the people of Homún for their tireless defense of Yucatán’s water, and example promoting harmony between mankind and the environment,” said a student representative during the ceremony.
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.
The decision came as a major victory for several local organizations which have been lobbying against the farm. But activists warn that the fight is long from over.
“We have been fighting this battle for years now and have had some victories, but this is not the time to sit on our laurels, we must stay vigilant,” said Lourdes Medina Carillo, a lawyer fighting against pig farms in Yucatán.
In the case against one of the largest farms raising nearly 50,000 pigs, a successful complaint was filled in the names of six local children.
Since 2017, there have been several cases of intimidation, threats, and violence against members of the community who have spoken out against the pig farms.
“One of the mothers of a child whose name was used to take legal action was actually attacked by people throwing stones,” said Medina Carillo.
Aside from health and ecological concerns, the now-defunct pig farm had come under intense scrutiny because of the risk posed to the local tourism industry.