Wednesday, June 19, 2024

National Guard secures well in Álvaro Obregón borough of CDMX

The National Guard (GN) secured a well in the Álvaro Obregón borough of Mexico City on Tuesday night, after reportedly detecting a gasoline odor.

The Alfonso 13 well, according to borough official Mariana Rodríguez, supplies water to the Nonoalco neighborhood of Benito Juárez borough, where residents had previously reported a gasoline smell in their tap water.

A city resident holds up contaminated water at a protest
Residents of Colonia Del Valle in Benito Juárez first reported that their water smelled of gasoline on March 31. (Rogelio Morales/Cuartoscuro)

In an interview with La Jornada newspaper, Rodríguez said that city authorities refused to give any information about the security operation and denied residents of the borough entry to the well.

Rodríguez also said she asked a deputy city official what she should tell residents and if they could use the water, but received no response.

Mexico City’s mayor Martí Batres acknowledged at a press conference on Monday that the drinking water in several neighborhoods of the Benito Juárez borough was contaminated. However, the mayor said that industrial lubricants had been detected in the water, not gasoline.

The complaints began on March 31, when residents reported a foul smell coming from their taps, but it wasn’t until April 4 that authorities began surveying the affected areas and taking water samples.

Security tape over a well in Mexico City
City authorities have not yet indicated whether the water in the Benito Juárez borough is safe to drink. (@tomaspliegoc/X)

On Tuesday evening, Batres posted a message on his X account reporting that his government had identified and closed a well in Álvaro Obregón, identified as the contaminated water source reported by residents of Benito Juárez. However, he did not specify the name of the well.

Batres added that “two industries in the area that deal with various components and substances were also closed off as a precautionary measure” and that the state-owned oil company Pemex inspected its pipelines located in the region and did not find any variations in their pressure (which could indicate a leak).

On Wednesday morning, residents blocked traffic on Insurgentes Avenue in protest, demanding a meeting with the mayor and the head of the municipal water agency, Rafael Carmona. According to La Jornada newspaper, the protesters expressed skepticism of official statements regarding the source of contamination.

Batres said authorities are continuing to investigate and will report back with updates.

With reports from La Jornada, El Universal and Milenio

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