Archivos en la Categoría: ENVIRONMENT

Critical forest fires season is expected in Baja California as well as the rest of Mexico´s «red light» areas

forest fires



This year a critical season of forest fires is expected, due to the conditions of the ENSO-La Niña meteorological phenomenon that apparently will continue until spring, according to the forecast of the National Water Commission (Conagua), reported the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) in a press release

This climatic phenomenon has caused low temperatures and little rainfall in most of the country, reducing humidity in forest areas, a situation similar to 2011. This atypical drought increases the presence and expansion of forest fires in Mexico.

According to Conafor’s weekly statistics, in the second week of February 2021, 499 forest fires were attended, 366 more fires than in the same period in 2020 when there was a record of 133. To face this situation, Conafor will hold an inter-institutional meeting in order to strengthen coordination, through shared responsibility between the three levels of government and rural communities.

At this meeting, he will present the National Fire Management Program 2020-2024 that establishes collaborative actions aimed at reducing the deterioration of forest ecosystems caused by the misuse of fire, since, according to his statistics, the human factor continues to be the main cause.

It should be noted that Conafor already has a Hazard Prediction System comparable to those used in the USA and Canada, which is based on the information provided by the National Meteorological System of Conagua and Conabio, which also considers the human factor in the incidence of fires, which results in data that contributes to a response capacity in the states, as well as in the municipalities, for the planning, prevention, detection, combat and control of forest fires.

It also takes cultural prevention into account and since January it has been carrying out physical prevention activities such as: fire cut gaps, black lines and prescribed burns that reduce forest fuels in states with the largest forest area.

For now, the population is being asked to take extreme precautions in the use of fire, since the human factor continues to be the main cause of fires, among which are agricultural activities, bonfires and badly extinguished cigarette butts, illegal activities, among others. Finally, the population is urged to report forest fires to 800 INCENDIO or 911.

San Felipe angler died 3 days after collision between a fishing boat and an environmentalist NGO ship


Miguel García Toledo died in Mexicali, he was one of the injured fishermen whose boat had collided against the ship Sharpie form the NGO Sea Shepherd, an accident that caused a violent break out las Thursday in San Felipe, the Sharpie, had run over a fishing boat in the Sea of Cortez, according to local anglers, the ship had done it on purpose, while other versions state that it was the fishermen who attacked the Sharpie with rocks and Molotov explosive cocktails and set course for an intentional collision, what many people have called a “kamikaze” attack from the desperate anglers.

This incident provoked a violent reaction from the locals who support the fishing activities that have been banned by the Federal Government to protect the Vaquita Marina incidental vaquitas capture that is the consequence of using the so-called “ghost nets” that cause harm to the marine mammal, which is also an endangered species.

According to a press release issued by Mexico´s Navy, the anglers attacked the ship and one of the boats got in the ship’s way, so it ran over the small boat and two fishermen were injured, and were taken to the Naval Clinic in San Felipe, and the last reports are that they are hurt but not seriously, even though some San Felipe locals said that one of them had been seriously harmed in the incident.

An angry mob, supporters of the fishermen burned boats and protested in front of the Naval facilities in San Felipe, they were sure that there had been an aggression against the fishing boat, but the environmentalist NGO Sea Shepherd, reported that it was the fishermen who crashed against the ship and the fishermen had attacked the boat´s occupants, throwing rocks and other objects.

The central point of this conflict is the Vaquita Marina and the illegal fishing of Totoaba fish, whose swimming bladder is sold at very high prices in the black market, the US Government has requested Mexico´s authorities to ban the use of the kind of nets that have caused harm to both species, but it is the Vaquita that they want to protect, so commercial fishing, an important activity for San Felipe´s economy, has been banned.

The US Government has warned of commercial sanctions and penalizations if the ban is not observed by the fishermen, but they argue that they have no other way to make a living and there´s been little or no financial aid for them so they can’t compensate the economic loss they have been suffering due to the prohibition, so this is not the first time that violence breaks out.san felipe

Many people feel that the presence of the two NGO Sea Shpeherd boats in Mexican waters goes against Mexico’s sovereignty and they think that the preservation of the vaquita marina can´t be more valuable than the life of the San Felipe community, since the fishing activities were banned, this has had a very negative impact on their lives and they have been struggling hard to make a living, in this situation.

The problem is not only the Vaquita but the illegal Totoaba bladder traffic, which has become very profitable for some criminal organizations, it has even been called the “cocaine of the sea”, and this illegal traffic throws away huge amounts of Totoaba fish meat, wasting good quality fish that may be turned into a profitable fish packing operation, but the Vaquita protection seems to be more relevant for this NGO and the US Government who has warned Mexico that there would be commercial “counter measures”, that is penalizations if authorities fail to inforce the fishing ban on San Felipe fishermen.

Ensenada Hotel contaminates the sea and owes 130 milliion pesos to the Water Commission


Estero Beach Hotel in Ensenada has been draining sewage water into the sea and has failed to pay about 137.5 million pesos in fees to the Water Commission of Ensenada, among other administrative and environmental illegal practices according to Baja California Secretary of Honesty, Vicenta Espinoza, who said that the hotel has a 137.7 million peso outstanding debt as well as other violations to the Law according to the National Water Commission.

The hotel belongs to the family of Senator Gerardo Novel, who was recently competing with other politicians to become Baja California Governor, but he lost and now his hotel is accused of ecocide practices, and he has already denied such a thing, stating that it is not true.

There was no formal service contract signed with the Water Commission of Ensenada (CESPE in Spanish), the hotel has a big debt for water consumption, besides the ecocide caused by discharging black water to the sea, among other results of the audit carried out by FISAMEX, the company that was hired by the State to review and audit companies in order to determine who hasn´t been paying water fees.

Carolina Escobar, state coordinator of FISAMEX, explained that the hotel extracts more than one million 800 thousand cubic meters  every year, even though it only has permission to extract 4 thousand 600 cubic meters every year, thus violating Article 119 of Mexico´s National Water Law, surpassing the volume they are authorized to use by more than 12 times, according to the audit’s results.

Moreover, personnel from FISAMEX and the Secretary of Honesty of Baja California, found, next to the wooden fence that set the limits of the hotel perimeter, they saw a dirty water stream that runs to the sea, without any technical record or environmental damage control measures whatsoever, which is a flagrant violation of Federal Laws.

Vicenta Espinoza also said that the hotel didn´t allow the inspectors into the facilities and they didn´t give any information whatsoever, so there hasn´t been a correct verification of the volume, outlets contracts and concessions, so they are still gathering data in order to be able to collect the outstanding payments.

Governor Jaime Bonilla said: “This case started by a whistle blow call to the State General Attorney office, those days are over, 137 million pesos that haven´t been paid, it´s money that belongs to the people, that is why Ensenada is so badly “hurt”, because these people have been allowed, passing as entrepreneurs, to operate in such an irregular manner, and we must determine when and how justice is going to be done, we are working hard on this and other issues, President Lopez Obrador knows all about it”.

Mr. Bonilla said that no political pressure will be tolerated and this particular subject will be dealt with by CONAGUA and he asked for a federal inspection to be carried out in order to determine the real extent of the ecological damage the Estero Beach Hotel has caused to the sea in front of its facilities.

Federal, State and Defense personnel are working with local firefighters in Tecate and Tijuana forest fires


A hard Santana wind condition  has caused several fires around Tecate and Tijuana, so the state director of Civil Protection, José Salvador Cervantes Hernández, said that Tecate Fire Department, as well as other protection and rescue instances from Tijuana, and State and Federal Government are working on the area known as Cerro Bola. Near Tecate.


Baja California Civil Protection director, José Salvador Cervantes Hernández

“As we announced previously, the winds increased and the Santana condition worsened the situation, the current winds are relative slower than those of last week, but there have been some important gusts and the fire conditions changed, so there are three fronts to take care of the fire”; said Cervantes.

He said that, «after an assessment of the first area of fires, near Tecate, there were no houses, farming facilities or buildings, in fact, it is an inaccessible area, and there are only firefighters, National Guard and civil protection staff who set up a contention area to keep the fire away from housing areas».

Meanwhile, in the second front, in Tijuana the city´s Fire Department is working together with the National Secretary of Defense (Mexican Army) and personnel from the National Forest Commission, are working on the area to prevent any situation.

The third front is in the area of Rosarito, where firemen are working and setting a contention barrier, “as of right now, there hasn´t been any evacuations, but some farms took prevention action in the immediate areas”, said Cervantes and called people who live near the area to remain alert for any Civil Protection warnings.

“Winds will continue through the night, so we ask people not to use fire to clean fields and not to burn any kind of trash or garbage, it is very important to prevent new incidents”, said Cervantes.


Solar energy is a safer bet than nuclear energy for Baja California governor, Jaime Bonilla


Solar energy, is a mega Project that Baja California Governor has mentioned several times, there will be a giant Photovoltaic Park which will supply electricity for the duct that transports water from Mexicali to Tijuana, there have been mentions of another project to build a nuclear energy micro-plant, but Governor Bonilla said that the subject is only a mention by Rocio Nahle, Federal Energy (SENER) Secretary, when she attended and addressed the Senators, at the end of October.

Governor Bonilla, said that there is an energy generation deficit in Baja California, so the photovoltaic project would help to cover it and (most important yet) to reach energetic autonomy and sustainability, to speed up the State development and make it more competitive, as the region demands since it is not connected to the national electrical network.

He also said that, due to the urgency of the current energetic issue in Baja California, that is, to compensate the lack of electricity generation, the State has been forced to “tur off” the Río Colorado-Mexicali-Tijuana water ducts pumping equipment thus grounding the water supply for the state Pacific coast, so he said that the Photovoltaic Park project is the best current alternative.sun energy

“Mexicali privileged geographic location, allows for a big output of electricity using the Sun as the main source, that is why we are advocating for the macro-project, where the state administration will not invest a single peso, since there is an invitation for private investors to build and operate the park, with the only condition of selling inexpensive electricity (below the market price) to the State”, said Governor Bonilla who talked about the reñevance and safety of solar energy.

Regarding what Secretary Nahle said, which was October 26 when she addressed the Republic Senate in Mexico City, the Governor said that “it was nothing but a casual mention” and up to the present, the statement that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE in Spanish) which allegedly has a nuclear energy project “somewhere in Baja California” is only a rumor and there is no confirmation of such an undertaking anywhere in the peninsula.

Bonilla Valdez also commented that, unlike the use of solar energy in the photovoltaic park, which wouldn´t be a hazard at all, due to the kind of structure that its construction and operation would represent, in the construction and operation of nuclear generators in the region the risk factor is higher since the San Andres geological tectonic makes Mexicali an seismic hazard area.


Mexican environment protection agency issues NOM 120 policiy to regulate mining exploration


Guaranteeing environmental protection in direct mining exploration activities in agricultural, livestock or wasteland areas is the main objective of the Official Mexican Standard NOM-120-SEMARNAT-2020, issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, published in the Official Gazette of the Federation also considers the care that should prevail in this activity in areas with dry and temperate climates where vegetation of xerophilous scrub, tropical deciduous forest, coniferous forests or oaks develops.

Mining exploration is the first phase of any development of mineral resources and is an activity that can occur over the same area several times, as technological advances allow for mineral extraction, and the provisions of this standard will be applicable to exploration projects. Direct mining that is carried out in the aforementioned areas, except for exploration for radioactive minerals and those that intend to be located in protected natural areas and in sites under some conservation cartography.

Dependencies and institutions such as the Mexican Academy of Environmental Impact, the Mexican Mining Chamber, the Sonora Miners Association, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Economy and the Semarnat participated in its preparation. , among others.exploration

The person responsible for the exploration project must make a supervision program to appoint the technical manager at the project site, detect critical aspects from an environmental point of view and make decisions, define strategies or modify harmful activities.

If radioactive minerals are detected, the Ministry of Energy must be notified in writing according to the corresponding regulations and if there are latrines or septic tanks, there must be a minimum distance of 30 meters between them and the wells, ditches, tunnels and exploration holes.

The material removed by the activities must be deposited in sites selected for this purpose by the person in charge of the project; while the species of flora and fauna classified in the lists of NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 that are located in the explored area, must be protected through conservation and recovery projects as established by the General Law of Wildlife.

Finally, upon completion of the direct mining exploration project and preparing for the abandonment of the area, a restoration program must be carried out to ensure the stabilization of slopes, filling of exploration wells and trenches, disabling and closing of new roads and sealing of drill holes, as well as revegetation and forest restoration.

This NOM will come into force 60 calendar days after its publication in the DOF (November 11, 2020) and will render null and void NOM-120-SEMARNAT-2011, which establishes the environmental protection specifications for direct mining exploration activities.

Sunshine Rodríguez arraigned in Hermosillo, San Felipe anglers leader may be sentenced to 10 years


Sunshine Rodríguez, San Felipe anglers leader,  is now in Hermosillo (capital of the state of Sonora) in a federal prison, arraigned for totoaba bladder (buche) traffic, sources confirmed Thursday noon that he had been taken there along with other two people who had also been arrested in Mexicali last Wednesday, ha is accused of organized crime racketing and crimes against the environment, if found guilty, each one of them may face sentences of at least 10 years in prison.

The alleged totoaba bladder traffickers were arrested in San Felipe on Tuesday early hours, taken to the Republic General Attorney offices in Mexicali and then they were put on plane and flied to Hermosillo, Sonora where they were delivered to the Organized Crime Investigation Special Sub Attorney.

The authority who was in charge of the arrests and transportation of the three men hasn´t issued any information regarding the suspects, all information is unofficial and gathered from several sources, among the detained are: Sunshine Rodriguez Peña, Enrique García Sánchez, Carmen Avila and Gastón Parra, all of them were arraigned in Hermosillo on Thursday morning and they will face trial in jail.

Relatives and friends of Enrique Garcia Sánchez, aka “Kiki”, is asking for support to be able to travel to Sonora and pay the lawyer and medical treatment he needs because of his condition, he had been shot and wounded by marines form the Mexican Navy in March 19.

Many people think that the ban imposed on San Felipe anglers is the beginning of the problem, that the vaquita marina is not more valuable than a community like San Felipe and that the Totoaba capture ban has no reason to be since the Baja California State University has been working on the recovery of the species for years, so there is no need to forbid its capture.




Sunshine Rodríguez, San Felipe anglers leader, arrested for alleged Totoaba bladder traffic


Carlos Loret de Mola, former TV news anchor and reporter, who has been involved in very dubious cases such as the staging of a French citizen “arrest” several years ago, who was also in the middle of a sex scandal with one of his co-anchors in Mexico´s most important TV network, who twitted that Sunshine Rodriguez had been arrested for heading a criminal organization that deals with Totoaba fish swimming bladder, which is very valuable in the China and Japan markets.

Loret de Mola, who made a documentary about the Vaquita Marina (Sea of Cortez endemic species) and says that Sunshine Rodriguez threatened to kill him, sentenced San Felipe fishermen leader in his Twit, stating that he is the leader of a criminal organization, and that a tactic group of Mexico´s Navy, arrested him in the early hours of Wednesday, November 11 and took him to the Federal Attorney´s Office facilities in Mexicali.Sunshine Rodriguez

Sunshine Rodriguez’ son accused the Navy personnel of stealing a video game console and jewelry from their house, while it was Mr. Loret de Mola who stated in Twitter , that Sunshine Rodríguez was accused of Totoaba bladder trafficking, and President Lopez Obrador in his daily morning conference said that a group of fishermen had been arrested in the waters of the Sea of Cortez, for allegedly fishing endangered marine species.

There is a ban for San Felipe fishermen, to protect the “vaquita marina” an endemic species of the Colorado Delta, because their fishing nets harm the vaquita marina, and they fish for Totoaba which is also protected, but their situation is very delicate, they are going through a financial and economic crisis, and they are not allowed to work in order to make a living.

According to certain versions the vaquita has been harmed, more by the slat and sweet water unbalance caused by the lack of flow from the Colorado river, than by the fishing activities, since the Meade and Imperial dams (among others) were constructed on the Colorado river course and less and less water started to flow to the Gulf since then.

Sunshine Rodriguez was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday November 11, and was taken to the facilities of the Federal Attorney General, and according to well-informed sources he may be taken to Mexico City within the next few hours, where he is expected to be arraigned at a Federal Court.


Agroecology, the new hope for sustainable farming and fostering ecology awareness: Mexico’s Secretary of Environment


Today in Mexico, with the policy and philosophy of the Fourth Transformation, we see the world optimistically because we are precisely in a battle for life that is advancing without a doubt, despite many resistance, thanks to all efforts and as a result of the accumulation of critical knowledge and the participation of many organizations, affirmed the Secretary of the Environment, Víctor M. Toledo.

The 2nd. Meeting of the GLocal Network of Food Sustainability and Dialogue of Knowledge for Latin America and the Caribbean, Toledo Manzur opened it with the keynote: Food sustainability and comprehensive health in question, in which he explained that faced with the dilemma between life policies or death, agro ecology emerges as an alternative to agro-industrial production, based on transgenic crops and the use of agro-toxins such as glyphosate.

«The dialogue of knowledge is the cornerstone through which it tries to promote a science committed to social processes and in defense of peasants and indigenous territories,» he said.

He explained that a large part of the problems we face today in terms of food production and health are the consequence of neoliberal administrations, which have co-opted the critical nature of science for the interests of capitalism in its corporate phase, so that today close to the 70% of the almost eight million scientists in the world are at the service of large corporate companies, and only 30% fit an academic profile.

As an example, he cited the document signed by 110 Nobel laureates in favor of transgenic foods on the grounds that they are harmless and safe, and for the same reason they criticized the actions of the environmental organization Greenpeace. This should lead us to reflect that science «by itself is not necessarily beneficial», as it may be conditioned by the economic interests of large corporations that for many years have tried to introduce the use of aggressive agrochemicals such as glyphosate and seeds transgenic. He warned that, contrary to what many of these groups have argued: «The environmental and sanitary damage to human health caused by glyphosate, soybeans and transgenic corn are already a public health phenomenon in South American countries,» therefore that another challenge is to recover the critical and conscious character of science.

After COVID19 pandemics crisis, there will be no going back to «normal» because «normality» and industrial farming are the root of the problem: Miguel Altieri


After the crisis due to the current pandemic, “there will be no return to normal”, because “normal” was the root of the problem: industrial agriculture systems that in the search for greater production promoted the homogeneity of crops, which decreased their resilience. In the end, agribusiness only feeds 30% of the population even though it uses up to 80% of the arable land and consumes many resources.

The renowned scientist Miguel Altieri, researcher at the Latin American Center for Agro Ecological Research, explained the above when participating in the International Seminar Agroecosystems: food, biodiversity and resilience, organized by the Ministry of the Environment and the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (UACH), within the cycle of videoconferences that is transmitted on Tuesdays and Thursdays in August and September, at 5:00 p.m.

Together with his colleague Clara Nicholls, from the Latin American Research Center, Altieri spoke on the topic Scientific bases for the design of resilinecies agroecosystems in the scenario expected after COVID-19 and that has resulted in four interrelated crises: economic, energy, food and ecological.

At the same time, Nicholls stressed that the reduction of resilience has also become a disadvantage to face climate change, and agreed with Altieri in underlining that the solution is agro ecology which, in addition to guaranteeing greater production with fewer resources and more efficiency, it can help you regain the resilience you need to cope with the effects of weather and economic problems. The videoconferences of this international seminar on agro ecosystems will continue to be given on Tuesday and Thursday, at 5:00 p.m., until September 29 and can be viewed via y

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