Yucatan in court to settle long-disputed border with Quintana Roo

Peto, Tekax and Chemax and even Valladolid could become Quintana Roo territory

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The Yucatan Peninsula’s three states have bickered over borders for years. Map: YEL

Yucatan’s exact boundary lines with neighboring state Quintana Roo have been in dispute for years, and the nation’s high court may settle the matter.

The dispute leaves residents of Valladolid, Peto, Tzucacab, Tekax, Chemax, Chichimilá, Tixcacalcupul and Chikidzonot in limbo. The municipalities could fall under either state’s authority, depending on how the conflict shakes out.

Unwilling to cede territory, the three branches of Yucatan’s state government coordinated to petition Mexico’s Supreme Court in the matter, said Secretary General María Fritz Sierra.

The president of the legislative board of directors, PRI Rep. Enrique Castillo Ruz, was commissioned to sign a constitutional petition that was immediately sent to the national Supreme Court of Justice. The document was also signed by state Legal Counsel Mauricio Tappan Silveira; the president of the Board of Governors of the local Congress, Felipe Cervera Hernández (PRI); as well as representatives Lila Frias Castillo (PRI) and Paulina Viana Gómez (PAN), Luis Borjas Romero (PRI), Luis Aguilar Castillo (NA) and Miguel Candila Noh (Morena).

“The Yucatecan executive branch acknowledges and appreciates the willingness of the legislative and judicial powers to work in a coordinated manner in the legal defense of the territorial limits of Yucatan with the neighboring state of Quintana Roo,” said the secretary general.

Fritz Sierra explained that intense legal analysis swiftly culminated in a legal brief as officials hurried to reach a June 20 procedural deadline.

The issue has been simmering for years, almost since Quintana Roo was established as its own state, breaking off from Yucatan in 1974.

A Campeche-Quintana Roo boundary dispute arose in the late 1990s, but was settled in 2013 when the federal court sided with Campeche. In the decision, Quintana Roo lost its southern border with Guatemala.

Quintana Roo legislators revived the dispute in April when it revised its Magna Carta to claim an expanded boundary line. Their border change also makes a grab for part of the Calakmul eco-tourist zone, which is Campeche territory.

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