Greenpeace protests toxic pollution of Mexican waters
Mexico City, March 24 (IANS/EFE) Environmental watchdog Greenpeace denounced on World Water Day the pollution of rivers and other surface waters in Mexico and asked the government to establish a policy of zero dumping of toxic substances by 2020.
A group of activists Thursday displayed at Juanacatlan Falls, in the western state of Jalisco, banners with the message "Mexican rivers, toxic rivers", on grounds that more than 70 percent of the nation's surface waters are highly contaminated.
Greenpeace activists paddled kayaks to Juanacatlan Falls on the Santiago River, protected by special overalls and wearing masks to keep from inhaling toxic gases in waters known for pollution.
Greenpeace Mexico said in a communique that "dirty industries are among the main sources of river pollution in Mexico and the world".
Measured in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), one of the indicators of quality established by Mexico's National Water Commission, or Conagua, industrial dumping generated 340 percent more contamination than municipal sewage.
"Water pollution directly harms communities living near lakes, rivers and tributaries because it damages health and infects food sources," the campaign director for Greenpeace Mexico, Gustavo Ampugnani, said.
The group demanded that the government establish a policy of clean rivers by 2020 that includes the elimination of toxic dumping, greater control of industrial waste, and sanctions imposed for damage caused by pollution, among other measures.
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