High noise levels in Mexico are as common as tacos and beer, but that may be changing in some places.
An anti-noise campaign that began in June in Zapopan, Jalisco, has so far resulted in the permanent closure of 35 businesses that exceeded noise limits established by the municipality.
Another nine have been fined, as well as the owner of a noisy house.
The administration of Mayor Jesús Pablo Lemus Navarro reports that given the number of commercial establishments located in the neighborhood of Chapalita, that part of the city is by far the worst in terms of noise pollution.
“We started a month ago and we have seen a lot of progress in raising awareness among the residents,” the municipal director of inspection and security told the newspaper El Informador.
“Nevertheless, we still have a lot to do,” said Tatiana Anaya Zúñiga.
Her staff performs routine rounds using calibrated decibel meters to verify that establishments such as bars, restaurants, night clubs, schools, gyms, religious centers and other venues comply with the regulations.
Not only are the noise emissions of commercial establishments more tightly regulated, but the mayor has announced that his administration will also attempt to regulate the use of fireworks in religious and private celebrations, another major contributor to excessive noise.
Meanwhile, state Deputy Augusto Valencia López, who says noise is an issue mainly because the fines are too low, has proposed state-wide anti-noise legislation that has the support of a small group of citizens calling themselves the Crusade Against Noise in Guadalajara.
Although the group has only about 20 members, its Facebook page, where it publishes video clips of noisy Guadalajara venues, counts 21,776 likes.
Its slogan is “For the right to sleep” and its purpose is promote a new culture regarding noise, new regulations and punishment for lawbreakers. Spokesman Alberto García says it wants to see stiffer penalties and new inspection procedures and limits on noise that conform to international standards.
The local branch of Canirac, the national chamber of restaurants, is among those who have been included in discussions on the new legislation.
Jalisco Canirac chairman Sergio Jaime Santos said his industry is willing to support the proposal if the enforcement process is phased in. He also wants the economic activity generated by the industry to be taken into account.
“We ask [proponents of the law] to be sensible, because we generate [income] not only for us but for many families that depend directly on jobs in the industry.”
Source: El Informador (sp)