Yucatán official says Mexican government hiding knowledge of BP oil spill damage

BP 435x292 Yucatán official says Mexican government hiding knowledge of BP oil spill damageBP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded 45 miles off the southeast Louisiana coast, unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. But 470 miles across the Gulf in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, little is known about the disaster’s impact on the environment and vital ecological systems, thanks to the silence of Mexico’s leadership, one top-ranking authority asserts.

According to the Yucatán Times, “Eduardo Adolfo Batllori Sampedro, the Secretary of Urban Development and Environment (Seduma) spoke out loudly against the federal government, who he says has completely hidden the results of the damage done to the coasts of Yucatán.”

Mr. Sampedro believes BP’s 2010 oil spill has wounded the Yucatán Peninsula in a number of ways. Since the spill, unusually high numbers of dead fish have washed onto the shore; massive algae blooms that form a “red tide” grow larger each year, taking a giant financial toll on local fishermen and the state’s largest natural income source; and balls of tar continue to wash ashore all over the state’s famed beaches.

A staunch critic of Mexico’s federal government, Mr. Sampedro has spoken out loudly against policies that have contaminated Yucatan’s environment and harmed its residents. Now, according to the Yucatán Times, he alleges the federal government “has completely hidden the results of the damage done to [Yucatán’s] coasts.”

“Considering the importance of relaying the information of the impact the spill had on Mexican coasts, it appears to indicate that the results are a reserved right for just the Federal Government,” Mr. Sampedro said.

According to the Yucatán Times, the federal Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) contracted 21 specialists from a number of universities and private and public agencies to investigate BP oil spill damage and evaluate conditions on the Continental Platform north of the peninsula. The researchers conducted studies for 13 days aboard an oceanographic research ship.

Conclusions from this expedition, however, are being withheld by Mexican authorities. Mr. Sampedro says that all of his requests to review the studies have been ignored by the federal government.


The Yucatan Times