The Supreme Court has voted unanimously to uphold the suspension of a 49,000-head hog farm in Yucatán, whose operations were first halted after a 2018 Yucatán court decision.
Producción Alimentaria Porcícola (PAPO), about 50 kilometers southeast of Mérida near the Mayan town of Homún, must remain closed until the case is definitively resolved in the state’s Second District Court.
The successful 2018 claim was brought by the Mayan children of Homún on constitutional grounds.
Civic organization Kanan ts’ono’ot, youth representatives and the NGO Indignación celebrated the court’s decision in a joint statement. “Once again [the court] agrees with the Mayan people of Homún.”
The statement added that the ruling “protects the right to health, the environment and a dignified life for the girls and boys of the Mayan town …”
The fate of the farm has become a matter of international concern. Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization, filed a friend of the court brief on May 5 on behalf of itself, the Center for Biological Diversity, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, Greenpeace México, Waterkeeper Alliance and 13 experts.
The amicus curiae brief detailed “substantial scientific evidence about the grave and irreversible harm to human health and the environment associated with industrial hog operations … contamination of water, including naturally occurring freshwater wells known as cenotes; emission of noxious air pollution; the spread of dangerous pathogens and contribution to climate change.”
Industrial animal operations are notorious polluters, threatening air and water quality and human health. PAPO is expected to generate over 272 million kilograms of urine and feces each year, more than is generated by the entire human population of Tijuana.
The farm’s establishment in Homún has divided residents. Many oppose it on environmental grounds, but others support it because of the jobs it could generate. The company has said that a fully operational farm would support 75 full-time jobs.