6 min read

Thousands Of Animals Lose Their Homes For Tourist Attraction

Since the destruction of their home took place in January, countless animals have been displaced, gruesomely injured and even killed in what protesters are calling a mass "ecocide" in the name of profit.

Their habitat is in the mangroves of Cancun, Mexico, known around the world as beds of biodiversity. The trees' unique placement where the land meets the sea makes them a rich habitat for wildlife.

A wide array of species inhabit the mangroves: crocodiles, frogs, herons and black spiny-tailed iguanas, to name a few.

Unfortunately, that didn't stop 23 private companies from sending their bulldozers to the mangroves of Cancun to flatten 143 acres of what was supposed to be protected land.

The bright side? There may be a new luxury resort and shopping complex in town.

Both animal and environmental activists as well as over 30 advocacy organizations are pleading with the Mexican government to halt construction on the project. They believe there is still hope to regrow the desecrated land.

But why and how did the Mexican government allow this to happen in the first place?

Since 2007, Mexican law has forbid the destruction of mangroves, but the project to destroy them, known as Malecón Tajamar, received approval back in 2002. For over a decade, the plans were kept on hold. The mangroves remained untouched until only recently, when the companies decided to revive the project.

And why not? Beachfront property is a hot commodity, and Mexico's tourism committee was already on board.

There was just one problem.

People arrived at the mangroves to protest the unjust project.

Unfortunately, their voices weren't heard, or more precisely, nobody listened.

On December 18, Semarnat, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, endorsed the project without even waiting for the full duration of the public comment period.

Then, exactly one month later at 2 o'clock in the morning, bulldozers, cranes and dump trucks began the demolition process. They were escorted by 140 state and local officers, equipped with riot gear to keep protesters at bay.

They worked through the night and day to clear the land.

In a matter of days, the demolition team had flattened the entire area, which was, once again, a whopping 143 acres or the equivalent of over 100 American football fields.

The land known around the world for its biodiversity was mercilessly ravaged for the sake of tourism.

Despite the current state, the people of Cancun believe that the damage can be undone, that the mangroves can grow back. They're not alone. The International Fund for Animal Welfare, Defenders of Wildlife, Greenpeace and many other internationally recognized groups are calling on PROFEPA, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection in Mexico, to halt all further development of Malecón Tajamar.

You can add your voice.

Visit the PROFEPA Facebook page to tell the Mexican government what you think they should do with the mangroves that have been flattened in the name of corporate interests.

Additionally, you can call on the United Nations to move their 12th annual Convention on Biological Diversity, which is scheduled to be held in Cancun in December, to another city.

If enough people raise their voices, we can speak on behalf of the animals who have lost their homes and lives.