Mexico has 108 areas of critical deforestation

945 people were arrested between 2005 and 2015 for the crime of illegal logging.

The state of Veracruz has the largest number of critical areas: 9, among them Pico de Orizaba, Papantla, Cofre de Perote, Misantla, Chicontepec and Los Tuxtlas. (Photo: Archive / EL UNIVERSAL)
English 20/03/2016 10:13 Actualizada 10:13
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By Eduardo Buendía 

In the last 15 years Mexico's Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) seized 426,617 cubic meters of illegal timber and 945 people were arrested between 2005 and 2015 for the crime of illegal logging.

Data provided by Profepa at the request of EL UNIVERSAL revealed that there are 108 areas with a worrying rate of deforestation in our country. The state of Veracruz has the largest number of critical areas: 9, among them Pico de Orizaba, Papantla, Cofre de Perote, Misantla, Chicontepec and Los Tuxtlas.

Jalisco is second with seven areas: the Western mountain range (especially Ayutla and Cuautla); the Amula mountain range including Chiquilistlán; the southeast of the state, particularly Mazamitla and Santa Maria del Oro; the coastal area around Puerto Vallarta as well as the south and southeast coast.

In Mexico City five areas are at risk, including the Ajusco, the Desierto de los Leones National Park, the Las Cruces mountain range, part of the districts of Milpa Alta and Xochimilco and the Iztaccihuatl-Popocatépetl National Park.

The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, that covers parts of the State of Mexico and Michoacán, is also included in the list, though between 2011 and 2012 the Profepa, residents of the region and the World Wide Fund for Nature achieved a "zero rate" of deforestation in the area through the implementation of surveillance brigades.

Only five states do not have areas in risk in terms of deforestation: Aguascalientes, Colima, Guanajuato, Nayarit and Tabasco.

Also, the Profepa said that 33 forest inspectors were murdered between 1991 and 2006 and that in 2006 it had 300 inspectors to patrol the 56 million of hectares of forests and jungles in Mexico.

Environmental activists have also been murdered and put in jail in Mexico: Ildefonso Zamora started denouncing illegal logging around San Juan Atzingo and Ocuilán de Arteaga, in the State of Mexico, in 1998. His son Aldo, who took the photos to report the illicit activity, was murdered in May 2007. His father continued with his activism but on November 20, 2015 Ildefonso was arrested and taken to Tenancingo prison, where he remains behind bars accused of theft by a neighbor.  

 

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