"The government secretariats of SAGARPA (Ministry of Agriculture) and SEMARNAT (Ministry of Environment) must guarantee that no genetically engineered (GE) soy will be grown in the state of Campeche starting from the 7th of March 2014".
This is the verdict of the Second District Court which granted protection to Mayan indigenous communities in the state of Campeche, Yucatan. The decision is based on the fact that the authorization to trade GE soy by Monsanto violates the right to prior and informed consultation guaranteed by the Mexican Constitution and goes against the local communities' right to decide on what grows on their land.
The communities of Pack-Chen and Cancabchen, together with the Apícola de los Chenes Collective, Indignación A.C., Educe S.C. De R.L., and partners from the MA OGM Collective, led the process which resulted in this important victory for all Mayan and Mexican people.
We at Greenpeace welcome the court decision, as the introduction of GE crops would harm the environment and put at risk farmers and communities' livelihoods.
"This verdict establishes the right of the Mayan people to be consulted and decide over projects that affect their communities and their territory', said in a statement the communities and organizations responsible for the litigation. The growth of monoculture in the Yucatán Peninsula is displacing Mayan people from the region where they live and develop important activities related to beekeeping, maize production and others.
This is a big step forward towards a more ecological ways of farming. We must keep fighting for a Mexico which guarantees the production of healthy food, respecting the environment and the rights of indigenous communities who guard the country's biodiversity and hold the traditional knowledge on how to cultivate the land. Agriculture must be at the service of people and farmers, not the economic interests of large multinational corporations.
Silvia Díaz Pérez is a Food and Agriculture campaigner at Greenpeace Mexico.