Redacción.- Sociedad Civil Unida por Quintana Roo launched this petition addressed to Enrique Peña Nieto the President of the Republic of Mexico, and 4 other government officials.
The importance of Yum Balam, the Natural Protected Area that includes Holbox is unmatched. If you have visited the island you know what we are talking about, it is an impressive site with a unique ecosystem because it is where the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean come together. It is a very important place both for terrestrial species and for migratory birds that depend on this area for reproduction and refuge, and has been internationally recognized.
I know we have asked you many times to support us to protect the site, but this request is critical and we need your urgent support. In a questionable move, the President of Lázaro Cárdenas Municipality Emilio Jimenez and his operator Guy Piña made an Urban Development Program (PDU) that invades the federal government’s attributions and creates a new urban center on Isla Grande Holbox, a pristine area that has never been inhabited.
This would seem insignificant, but it is not. First of all, the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection clearly states that new population centers cannot be created in the Protected Natural Areas. As you can see in the image of this petition, Isla Grande is completely uninhabited and perfectly conserved. Why would they want to add that small detail? Because this would allow the new landowners to claim that they have a right to build there. Secondly, let's not forget that the new owners of the land in Isla Grande do not have acquired rights, and do not have the same prerogatives as the original inhabitants of Holbox and all of Yum Balam. Doesn’t it make sense? When a site is determined to be very ecologically important, it is done through a presidential decree and is recognized that those who live there already have legally protected rights, and it would not be fair that someone who does not even live in the area would later claim the same rights as the inhabitants when they bought the land, knowing that it was within a Federal Natural Protected Area.
As you well know, the group trying to develop Isla Grande has created social chaos for several years. They would be the first beneficiaries of the illegal PDU. Now, they are trying to stop the publication of the protected area’s Management Program by proposing studies (which they would pay) to say how much should be built. It is difficult to believe that they would not influence any research to make sure it benefitted them.
In summary, we need your help in asking the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas to immediately publish the Yum Balam Management Program, demand that the Municipal President cancel the current, PDU, and that it does not issue any licenses or permits based on that document.
Holbox does not belong to those who bought the land; it belongs to all of us!