The land and water of Yucatan have helped promote the development of the entity and meet the economic needs of society, but in recent years these natural resources are in a state of overexploitation, says Yucatecan economist Gabriel Rodríguez Cedillo.
For the professor at the Autonomous University of Yucatan (Uady), this overexploitation has been generated by the commercial interest of groups of investors who have looked at these resources as an attractive commodity to obtain the greatest amount of profit at a lower cost.
In his analysis, the expert says that the large flow of social media ads and billboards offered by the so-called investment lots and the indiscriminate construction of housing
They are an example of the interest that Yucatecan land has generated. And about water, he affirms that the idea that the state has a large amount of the natural resources has promoted its indiscriminate use as it is used as a raw material by some companies.
The economist also points out that groups of investors have seen a great opportunity in land grabbing because now the fastest way to make a profit with this natural resource is to get hold of it because by grabbing it, scarcity is generated and with it, an increase of its value is achieved.
“Economic agents with certain characteristics seek to monopolize the greatest amount of these natural resources in order to control them and generate scarcity to increase their value. In this way they obtain an exorbitant profitability at the expense of the Yucatecan population”, comments the Uady academic
The specialist points out that for investment groups, land and water are attractive commodities to obtain the highest profit at a lower cost, despite harming a large part of the state’s population.
The land in Yucatan is now “brown gold”
For the graduate in Economics, the Yucatecan land has become in recent years the “brown gold” that real estate agencies or the so-called “lottery players” seek to exploit, since private advertising and government propaganda that show Yucatan as one of the safest and most attractive states in the country have made more people from outside become interested in a space to live in the state.
But the problem, he points out, is that in Mérida there is nowhere to build, and when it is built for social housing it is done with less land, so now the attraction is to exploit the ejido lands that are close to the Yucatecan coast, promising a higher return on investment after these lots are urbanized, despite being in the middle of the jungle.
“Land is the brown gold of real estate companies that in recent years have found an opportunity in its grabbing, and the fastest way to make a profit with the land is to get hold of it and then ‘plot’ it with all the business characteristics. Thus, it becomes an attractive business model, as long as there are urban characteristics within the population.
This is generating a problem of overexploitation due to the indiscriminate construction of houses. We are already seeing more private homes, residential, apartments, and these are being built in the Yucatecan forest that we badly call mount, and for Mérida, the houses of social interest in certain areas are getting smaller, which generates a poor distribution of land for the Yucatecans,” he says.
Water in few hands
For the also doctor in Government and Public Policies, in Yucatan, there is a culture of believing that the economic development of the state is based on commercial development, which is dominated by a few hands, and that is why he points out that the authorities have allowed said resource is exploited by investors in an industrial manner, which generates pollution and, in the long term, scarcity.
“The problem we are having with water in Yucatan is that it is being overexploited due to the industrial use that is given to it in some commercial sectors in the state, which generates a state of deterioration of that resource because it is becoming contaminated, and when it becomes contaminated , it generates scarcity”, affirms the Uady specialist during an interview.
Rodríguez Cedilo also points out that the government is not taking adequate measures to provide water in the state, since now it has to divide the resource for industrial, commercial use and for use in housing developments that are increasing in some areas of Mérida, especially in the north, which in the long run will generate a shortage problem in the city.
“ Water has already begun to be scarce in some parts of Mérida because the little water capacity that the government can provide is already dividing it into commercial and industrial sectors and countless housing developments , especially in the northern part of the city” , comment.
Call to be aware of the use of Yucatecan land
Gabriel Rodríguez calls to be aware of the use of Yucatecan land because it is scarce, in addition to the fact that said natural resource must be for the Yucatecans and not for a group of people who have the resources for its exploitation. Regarding water, he also asks for responsible use and to generate mechanisms so that it can be better distributed.
The academic also calls on the government not to ignore the overexploitation of water and land, since in the long run, it will generate problems for the population.
“From the economic structure, the overexploitation of natural resources is generating high inequality, land grabbing and excessive use of water at a very high social cost,” concludes the expert.