Mayans Win Legal Battle to Ban GM Soya in Mexico’s Campeche Region

Posted on Mar 13 2014 - 2:00pm by Sustainable Pulse

Following a ban on the cultivation of GM Maize in Mexico in 2013, the Campeche region of the country has now prohibited the growing of  GM Soybeans following a two year court battle.

The Second District Court in Campeche ruled this week in favor of three Mayan communities from the Hopelchén township who had taken on the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock , Rural Development, Fisheries and Food ( Sagarpa) and the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources ( SEMARNAT).

In a landmark ruling, the Court granted in favor of  the Pac -chen and Cancabchen communities in Hopelchén and determined that the effects of the ruling it applied to all municipalities affected by the permit for GM soybean cultivation in Campeche. Sagarpa now has an obligation to ensure that no GM Soybeans are planted in the state.

The problem began on June 6, 2012 , when the Sagarpa , with the support of SEMARNAT permitted the release of Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready GM Soybeans into the environment. The planting of 253 000 hectares was allowed in seven states of Mexico , including the municipalities of Campeche, Hopelchén , Tenabo , Calkiní , Escárcega , Carmen and Palisade .

In Campeche the Mayan authorities reacted angrily to the government authorization and Pac- Chen, Cancabchen and various associations of Campeche beekeepers decided to go to court to prevent the planting, because it affects the honey industry through GM ‘pollution of  production’, which has resulted in the closure of some of the beekeepers’ international markets.

The Mayan communities stated that the planting of GM Soybeans affected the traditional historical practices of the people (beekeeping) and that there was a violation of their right to a healthy environment through the overuse of herbicides and deforestation that GMOs encourage.

After nearly two years of litigation, the Second District Court  supported the indigenous communities’ claims.

In addition , the Directorate General of Environmental Impact and Risk of SEMARNAT , when giving the approval for the permit, was found to have violated the procedure laid down in its Rules of Procedure , by omitting three binding rulings Conabio , CONANP and INE, which advised against planting of genetically modified soy in marked polygons.

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12 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Emily March 13, 2014 at 20:56 - Reply

    I’m so happy to see this.

  2. E. Gonzalez March 15, 2014 at 01:55 - Reply

    This is amazing.

  3. Javier H. March 15, 2014 at 05:00 - Reply

    The power of the gente is amazing. We must continue to fight not just in Mexico but all over the world. Because Corporations are everywhere and all they want is money they don’t care if they pollute the air or damage the environment. So I give respects to the Mayas in Campeche and other near by towns. SI Se Puede!

  4. Ruth M March 16, 2014 at 04:40 - Reply

    This is totally awesome news. Bueno!!!

  5. Nancy Donaldson March 17, 2014 at 21:27 - Reply

    Praises to the people to fight for their rights to ban this horrid G MO soy in their land. All G MO SHOULD BE BANNED & THE

  6. Tina March 19, 2014 at 21:33 - Reply

    I am so proud of the Mayan peoples for fighting this good fight and winning. Everyone one needs to buy Heirloom open pollinated seeds. Grow them save them and feed not only yourself but your community and get them involved. If we all don’t do our part then no one has any room to complain about the Monsanto Monster of the world.

  7. Susan March 20, 2014 at 16:06 - Reply

    Thank you!!

  8. Madeline Loder March 21, 2014 at 18:40 - Reply

    To the Mayan people: You are Super Heroes!

  9. Michael March 25, 2014 at 20:12 - Reply

    Deep appreciation to the Maya, thank you for your struggle!

  10. Susan March 31, 2014 at 19:34 - Reply

    We need to ban together and stop this poisoning where ever it is taking place! Kudos to the people fighting for this.

  11. Fiona May 1, 2014 at 18:15 - Reply

    We as consumers have the power. I refuse to buy anything with corn, soy and canola in them. Unless organic or labelled otherwise I assume it’s all GMO. We have to walk the talk. If the products don’t sell then that will kill the market. How simple is that!

  12. Annette May 2, 2014 at 14:38 - Reply

    The Mayans will have the last laugh when they get top $$$ for their uncontaminated produce. They are heroes – the rest of the world should take note, they have gone up against the multinationals and won – as they should. They deserve our admiration and support. I never buy anything from USA as their lack of genuine labelling and their FDA are a joke to the rest of the world, you only have to look at all the ex-Monsanto employees in the US key government roles to see how it works. Their only God is money not people. If they as a country can’t value their own people’s health, how can we expect they will have any respect for the other countries they trade with.

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