Belize fails to attend the Twelfth Session of the Rio Hondo Basin Commission
Monday, March 31st, 2014
Mexican authorities are seeking international assistance to address the run off of dangerous chemicals and pesticide from agricultural farms into the Rio Hondo located along the borderline of Northern Belize and Mexico. This decision was taken after Belize failed to send a delegation to the Twelfth Session of the Basin Commission for the Rio Hondo (Commission de Cuenca del Rio Hondo) and according to the Mexican counterparts, has been absent in several instances.
The consultation, which had members of both the Mexican and Guatemalan Environmentalist Agencies in attendance, addressed the mass of chemicals and pesticides that are being deposited into the river. These chemicals, which are used for farming and agriculture purposes, are altering the pH Balance of the Rio Hondo, resulting in the possible poisoning of river dolphins and manatees. In the past few months three dolphins and two manatees have been found dead on the shores of Chetumal Bay in the state of, Quintana Roo. According to news repots from Mexico, the death of these creatures is being attributed to chemical poisoning.
According to Jose Luis Pajon, delegate of Comisión Nacional del Agua CONAGUA Quintana Roo, something must be done to stop this pollution before the problem gets out of hand. “We need Belize to participate in the meeting, we are doing our part in our regions to ensure we use bio-friendly agrochemicals. We do not know what Belize is using,” said Pajon.
Mexican authorities are urging the Government of Belize to respond to this cause. The Rio Hondo is the northernmost river in Belize, bordered in the north by Mexico. The river banks of the Rio Hondo are home to many rural villages that depend on it as a source of potable water, transportation and irrigation amongst other uses. Such contamination of the river could result in serious health issues, not only for animals but for humans as well.