Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — A class action lawsuit has been filed in a Cancun court against the American company Vulcan Materials, owner of Sac-Tun. The lawsuit was filed Monday by environmental advisor Raúl Benet on behalf of more than 2,500 families in Solidaridad.
The families accuse Playa del Carmen based Sac-Tun of environmental deterioration and contamination of the underground aquifer that lies below the 2,400 hectares for which they have a concession to extract limestone.
Benet says that for more than 30 years, the company has continuously used large quantities of explosives, drilled deep holes several meters below the water table and have discharged significant concentrations of nitrites and other pollutants into the aquifer.
The lawsuit also accuses the company of releasing immense amounts of fine limestone dust that is harmful to the health of the residents and in particular, children since it can trigger asthmatic complications.
Benet says that although the company had permits granted during the government of Ernesto Zedillo, the constant and permanent violation of the established conditions and the volumes approved in such permits has been the fundamental cause of the great social and environmental impact that exploitation has meant.
“This and any other company that violates the conditions established in its permits, and which results in serious environmental deterioration and the violation of the rights of the community, must be brought to trial, its operations must be definitively closed and the companies made to answer for the environmental and social damage caused,” he said.
The lawsuit requests the definitive closure of the mine.