The allegedly illegal landfill in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. The allegedly illegal landfill in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

Human rights complaint alleges Chiapas landfill linked to 27 deaths

The Tuxtla Gutiérrez site is illegal, according to the claim

A toxic landfill in Chiapas has taken the lives of 27 people, according to a complaint filed before the state Human Rights Commission.

Ángel Ancheita Villafuerte of the center for studies in citizenship and security at the Autonomous University of Chiapas claims that the victims, nine of whom were children, died due to an allegedly illegal landfill in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The complaint says the landfill has been operating for 12 years in the ejido (communal landholding) Emiliano Zapata in clear violation of official regulations by all three level of government.

The continuing operation of the landfill puts the environment and the health of the residents of the ejido at risk, said Ancheita, who is one of those residents.

Between 2006 and 2016 there were 18 confirmed cases of cancer in adults, cases directly related to the landfill, Ancheita said, as well as the deaths of nine children under a year old.

Residents of the Chiapas capital have been dumping garbage at the site for 20 years. In 2006, the state converted the dump into a sanitary landfill but according to Ancheita it has never complied with environmental regulations.

In response, the state government said that responsibility for the operation of the landfill lies with the municipal government.

The newspaper Milenio attempted unsuccessfully to obtain a statement from the municipality.

Source: Milenio (sp), Diario Ultimátum (sp)

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