Environmentalists Mauricio de la Maza and Óscar Leal, from the Pronatura Noreste environmental organization, as well as documentary filmmaker David Jaramillo, were intimidated with being imprisoned and later threatened with death when attempting to carry out work for the conservation and restoration of wetlands in Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila.
The threat was made by Leobardo Sánchez, a worker from the municipality governed by Yolanda Cantú from the PAN political party. This man was accompanied by people from the San Juan Boquillas ejido, whom environmentalists identified as water huachicoleros, who oppose the works to prevent the irrational extraction of water.
Mauricio de la Maza, general director of Pronatura Noreste, and Óscar Leal, coordinator of the Water Program of the same organization, explained that the events occurred on August 4 and September 2, when on a piece of land with prior authorization from the owner, they intended to build a stone gabion in the river bed of the Saca Salada Canal, where the greatest amount of water in the Cuatro Cienegas Valley is lost.
These works would be carried out with the endorsement of the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp), so one of the agency’s technicians was with them, and he was also intimidated.
Mauricio de la Maza explained that Pronatura was prepared to carry out works that correspond to the National Water Commission, because for years, that agency has been an omission in its compliance, for which they requested authorization from the Ministry of the Environment to carry them out, in order to reduce the loss of water flow and prevent the wetlands that are now “dying” and could disappear.