Land clearing for concert sparks protest in Baja California


The clearing of land to install a concert hall in Mexico’s premier wine region sparked a protest on Saturday, as federal environmental authorities halted the project.

Concert promoter APM Producciones cleared native semi-desert vegetation from a hillside property in the Valle de Guadalupe, located in the municipality of Ensenada, Baja California.

The company intended to set up a stage and host two concerts featuring singer-songwriter Christian Nodal on the site last weekend, but was forced to cancel Saturday’s event. and to move on Sunday after the environmental protection agency Profepa and the Federal Ministry of the Environment (Semarnat) shut down their project. and seized heavy machinery used to clear the land.

Semarnat said in a statement that APM did not have permission to change the use of land on the property, located in the community of Porvenir.

The ministry said Profepa officials visited the site last Friday after receiving numerous complaints from members of the public. During the visit, officials observed the recent removal of vegetation and the presence of heavy machinery, Semarnat said on Saturday. “It has also been determined that the property is located on wooded land,” he said.

APM Producciones rejected the claim that it did not have permission to clear the land. He said four hectares of land have been “cleared without affecting any plants” to make way for a 1.5 hectare concert space and 2.5 hectare parking lot.

“The project includes the construction of villas and the planting of trees and vines in accordance with current regulations. We have all the necessary permits for both the mentioned project and… the concert, ”he said in a statement on Friday.

Meanwhile, protesters from a group called Por un Valle de Verdad (For a Real Valley) demonstrated on Saturday against unfettered development they say poses a threat to the environment of the Valley of Guadalupe.

The group, which protested near the property in question under the slogan “more vines, less looting,” said in a statement that APM had caused “havoc for flora and fauna on more than 20 hectares. ”, An area five times the size of the company. said it was clear.

“It is a project that does not show the slightest consideration for the environment,” he added. Paula Piojan, an expert on native vegetation, called the clearing of vegetation a “tragedy”.

“Cleared land takes over 100 years to recover,” she said, adding that the lack of vegetation on the property will affect its ability to hold water in the event of rain.

For his part, Nodal told his 7.8 million Instagram followers that he was a “great conservationist” and that he would never allow “his image, his music and his art” to be associated. to those who damage it.

His Sunday concert has moved to Rancho Chichihuas, located just outside of the Guadalupe Valley.

With reports of Reforma, the universal and PA

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