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Mexico: Oil spill affects 10,000 tons of orange in Nuevo Leon

Producers from the Township of Cadereyta Jiménez estimated that at least 10,000 tons of oranges had been lost because of the lack of irrigation caused by the oil spill into the San Juan River that a clandestine outlet on Pemex’s pipeline caused. 

The producers presented their estimates at a meeting with deputies of the Special Investigative Committee of the oil spill in the San Juan River. According to Francisco Javier Limon Guzman, deputy of Santa Isabel’s common land, the orange trees haven’t been irrigated since August 16, when the clandestine outlet on kilometre 463.5 of the Madero-Cadereyta pipeline was detected. 

"There are two or three early orange varieties, one is cut at the beginning of the month, and, in fact we already lost that one. Then there is the late orange, which we can start cutting from December 15. We are talking about 20,000 tons in all the area," he said. 

Half of that amount, he said, would result in beeing affected by the ecological contingency in the San Juan River, so we would need to bring citrus from other areas of the country to supply local demand. Limón Guzmán noted that the authorities are aware of the issue and have been waiting for Pemex to perform actions to clean up the affected area. 

Within this process, he said, the landowners have presented documents that show which plots have been affected and are expecting compensation from Pemex. 

"We need to water the trees so that the fruit can develop and so that the trees can bloom next year. Hence, this is affecting us," he said in an interview. 

"Yes we will be affected. One of our production is its developmental stage and the other is about to be cut, but when the tree lacks water it feeds from itself so the oranges become loose and start lacking juice," he said. 

It was agreed, at the meeting with local representatives, that the needs of the affected population would be monitored in order to try the ecological problem more quickly. 

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