Unknown people have been extracting sand from the Laja and San Damian rivers in San Miguel de Allende in broad daylight, earning millions of pesos.
News website Periodico Correo published an article that documents the looting, and despite the complaints by local residents, authorities have not stopped this illegal activity and no one has been detained so far.
Periodico Correo started their investigation around September 20, taking photographs of heavy machinery and trucks used to extract and transport the sand; and doing the math for one day period, 18 trucks with 30 cubic meters capacity, are filled with sand everyday, between 7 am and 7 pm.
In just one day, this business results in $867,000 pesos ($43,300 USD), approximatelly 26 million pesos (1.3 million USD) a month; as these people have been extracting an average of 4,686 cubic meters of sand per day.
It is worth mentioning that most of these vehicles have Guanajuato license plates.
This situation has been going on for over a year now, and The National Water Commission (Comisión Nacional del Agua: CNA), agency responsible for overseeing the enforcement of the National Waters Law, declared that so far, they have filed two criminal complaints before the Attorney General’s Office for illegal extraction of sand from the Laja and San Damian rivers.
However, the Attorney General’s Office declared they have only one investigation file, opened by the San Miguel de Allende local authorities (not the CNA).
- Finally, CNA stated that they filed two formal complaints and provided the following investigations file numbers:
AP/PGR/GTO/SMA/1958B/2015 filed before the Public Minsitry of the federation in SMA AP/PGR/GTO/GTO/1877-B/2015 presented at the prosecutor’s office of Guanajuato
The fact is, that after more than a year of this situation, the looting keeps on going, the trucks come and go and neither municipal, state or federal authorities seem to be doing anything about it.
With information from Periodico Correo