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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Pig farm accused of hiding cenotes and filling them in with cement

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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.
Activists in Homún argue that whatever measures are taken, pig farms and clean water in the area simply don’t mix. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

A pig farm in the municipality of Homún is being accused of filling in and hiding two cenotes from environmental authorities. 

A cenote is a natural cavern fed by water that flows from underground rivers. They are popular for swimming with tourists, and an important source of drinking water for many communities across Yucatán.

According to the report, the two cenotes were plugged with cement in 2017.

The allegations were made by the newspaper Por Esto, and argue that the company in question, Kekén, knowingly subverted environmental regulations to continue operating. 

The news has angered local residents who are now filing a complaint with Yucatán’s environmental authorities and demanding the closure of the pig farm. 

Because the ground in Yucatán is so porous, swine waste often makes its way to the water table before it has had a chance to break down.

This is not the first time locals in Homún have butted heads with industrial pig farms

Earlier: Campaign to protect cenotes from pig farm goes global

Activists say that they will not stop protesting and taking legal action until all industrial pig farms are removed from the region ⁠— and they have already had some considerable success. 

Last year, Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered the closure of a controversial and massive pig farm near Homún, Yucatán.

On the Yucatán Peninsula, there are 257 registered pig farms, 85% of which are in Yucatán state. However, up to 400 smaller farms operate in the region unregistered and unsupervised. 

Over the past decade, Yucatán has become one of the largest pork producers in Mexico. In 2020, Mexico became the third-largest exporter of pork in the world, with its largest markets being China and the United States.

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