Mennonite farmers harvest watermelon in Campeche. Mennonite farmers harvest watermelon in Campeche.

Mennonites accused of other violations

Agency says unlawful clearing took place in Campeche and Coahuila

Environmental damage caused by Mennonite communities is not limited to Quintana Roo, says the federal environmental agency Profepa, citing occurrences in protected areas of Campeche and Coahuila dating back to 2008.

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The agency says that in 2009 it filed criminal complaints with the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) against 18 people and issued fines totaling almost 2.8 million pesos (US $156,000) for damage caused to land in Hopelchén, Campeche.

In 2008, Profepa carried out inspections of forest land owned by Mennonites in the municipality to verify if deforestation had occurred lawfully.

It found that much of the land had been cleared without first applying for the relevant authorizations. Consequently, in December 2009, deforestation of a further 759 hectares of land was stopped and on 10 pieces of land, where authorization had been applied for, it was suspended.

The agency shut down five facilities that were being used as sawmills and another two facilities had their licenses revoked.  It also seized four tractors and three trucks in the operation and closed 299 kilns that had been used for charcoal production.

In 2013, Profepa discovered that 2,300 hectares of Mennonite-owned land had been illegally cleared for agricultural purposes in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila. The forest land was spread over 23 separate 100-hectare properties and again the relevant authorizations had not been obtained.

Profepa filed claims against the offenders and while all legal avenues for appeal have been exhausted and all rulings have favored the federal agency, the cases have still not been concluded.

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However, it is estimated that a fine of 600,000 pesos could be imposed on each offending property, totaling almost 14 million pesos (US $780,000).

Earlier this week it was reported that Profepa had filed claims against three Mennonite communities in Bacalar, Quintana Roo, for illegally clearing forest land.

The farmers said that they didn’t apply for permission because they didn’t have the economic means to pay for the permits.

Mennonite settlement in Mexico dates back to the 1920s when many began arriving from Canada. Today they number about 100,000 and live primarily in Chihuahua and Durango.

Most are engaged in agricultural activities, from cultivating grain to producing cheese.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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  • Gary gimp

    Isn’t it amazing – the Mexican government goes after the Mennonites what seems like full-force. Yet, when it comes to any of the missing, the cartels, the corrupt politicos, nothing seems to happen. If it does, it’s slow or handled incompetently or who knows.

    • LifeIsDiving

      not remotely related…try staying on topic…..plenty of humans on the earth……jungle and forest not so much thanks to humans

      • Gary gimp

        What’s not remotely related? I have no idea what message you’re trying to convey. Writing proper sentences would help convey your message.

    • Pat

      It’s because Mennonites don’t carry automatic weapons that they are targeted by the govt.

      • Gary gimp

        You are 100% correct – they’re going after an unarmed and peaceful people while assisting the armed cartels.

  • jdwfinger

    unless the mexican people have a revolution, they deserve all that happens to them. the usa and the rest of the world does not care. they have to drain their swamp themselves. if not, too bad for them.

  • Cam Nante

    Looks like Mennonites don’t learn quickly

  • Bill Garrison

    All of the work has been done and the land is in top shape………….now it’s time to take it away from the guys that did the work. Sure, that’s the ticket.

    • LifeIsDiving

      so you know nothing about deforestation and taking of jungle? wkae up

  • Love the overalls.

    • Commander Barkfeather

      Could those be considered “gang colors?”

  • Commander Barkfeather

    Let’s keep a perspective here. Although this is a serious breach, world deforestation is not caused by Mennonites. There are bigger culprits out there, probably Episcopalians (that’s a joke). Perhaps an appropriate punishment would be community service in the form of teaching their agricultural techniques to a new generation of farmers.

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