The following was translated from an opinion piece published Thursday, Dec. 17 in La Jornada Maya:
By Hugo Michel
Merida has not been so quiet at night since the curfew was imposed. There are no more cars, motorcycles, trucks, horns that cause noise and prevent having quiet nights. Unfortunately one remains, irreducible, permanent, penetrating, which is eating us from the inside day and night.
The only defense against the hum is to lock yourself in a room with sophisticated double-paned windows, which no one has because of the high price but also because the houses must be ventilated. We cannot hide it either, that engine noise is heard despite having music or the splash of a fountain.
Little by little, we have become irritable, unbearable, complaining. We can’t sleep well, we wake up tired, with pessimistic thoughts like getting rid of our beloved home as quickly as possible; sell it and move anywhere so as not to listen to that cement monster anymore.
How is it possible that the authorities let this happen, that they do not worry about the health of its inhabitants? We are totally powerless and defenseless in such a situation, vulnerable, invaded to the deepest corner of our burrow, where the roar of the machine penetrates our brain generating a deep discomfort. Depression settles more every day.
What is the origin of the damn noise? La Harinera del Sureste (a massive flour mill) on Calle 50 in the center of the state capital, which is promoted internationally as the ideal place to live.
Those responsible are aware of the annoying noise, the state authorities as well. Often, in complicated situations, the latter decide to hypocritically ignore the problem under the pretext that they do not listen to anything to demarcate themselves from their responsibilities. At least they cannot pretend to ignore the matter since they have already been informed of the discomfort of the inhabitants of the affected area, not only directly, but also through the newspapers and the radio.
Of course, recognizing the fact that there is an unbearable noise implies consequences, first, at the legal level, since environmental laws are being violated; second, economic, since you have to spend money to soundproof the turbines; and third, work, because you have to get to work to eliminate noise.
If this recent pandemic has shown that there is a great concern of the authorities to take care of the health of citizens through the actions that are taken to try to control viral infections and keep people alive, then they should also continue their efforts so that these same citizens can live in satisfactory conditions.
It is an opportunity for people in responsible positions to show that they are capable of doing the right things to live in a better world and thus assume the positions for which they were elected.