a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia for something that does not exist.
Gaze across Lake Cajititlán here in western Mexico and normally you’ll see fisherman cutting their nets and tourist boats gliding over the blue-green water. But that picturesque scene turned grim last week when more than 4 million dead fish suddenly surfaced, turning the water a sinister shade of gray.
For days, the smell of rotting scales lingered in the air as locals joined government workers to scoop up more than 156 tons of freshwater popoche chub, a sardine-sized species native to the western state of Jalisco.
It’s still unclear what killed the fish, but the incident was the worst in a spate of environmental disasters in Mexico this year. Early last month, a river in the northern state of Sonora took on a sickly brown-red color after workers from a nearby mine dumped thousands of gallons of sulfuric acid into the water. In Veracruz state, near the Gulf of Mexico, a gasoline spill contaminated almost 5 miles of a small river near the town of Tierra Blanca. And last Thursday, the Pacific coast of Sinaloa state also saw a sudden and seemingly inexplicable mountain of dead fish rise to the surface.
Mexico, like many developing nations, has a poor environmental record, but it was still unusual for the country to experience such a quick succession of environmental disasters. What ties them together, critics say, are lax environmental standards, a complete lack of industry oversight and an inability to penalize people and companies that pollute.
“These cases are just the tip of the iceberg of the opacity in which industries in Mexico operate,” environmental watchdog Greenpeace said last week in a statement. “The laxity of the laws permit them to contaminate in exchange for derisory fines posing as ‘reparation of damages,’ without taking into account any external factors.”
The case of Lake Cajititlán is a classic example of how disasters often unfold in Mexico. Environmental experts are still trying to figure out what killed the fish, but that hasn’t prevented the authorities from bickering over who or what was to blame.
Wait. … wait…
don’t do that stop doing that