Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The submission asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law in relation to the establishment and operation of the Cytrar hazardous waste landfill near the city of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The Submitters assert that the Cytrar hazardous waste landfill carried on activities in violation of multiple legal provisions, since: a) it operated without an environmental impact authorization; b) it failed to comply with the applicable legal provisions concerning the design and construction of its facilities; c) it deposited hazardous waste originating from the company Alco Pacífico, Inc. of the United States of America. The submitters allege that these violations concerning the disposal of hazardous wastes have caused damage to human health and to habitat.

Furthermore, the Submission asserts that the Secretariat is empowered to produce a report on the Cytrar case pursuant to NAAEC Article 13, since it is a matter relating to the cooperative functions of the Agreement. If such a report were produced, it would contribute to achieving the objectives of the triannual program plan known as the North American Agenda for Action 2000-2002. This is the second submission filed on this matter. The first submission may be reviewed under SEM-98-005.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In its response, received on 4 June 2001, Mexico states that “the Government of the United States of Mexico is not legally able to respond to the matter in question, since it is subject to arbitration proceedings for resolving an international dispute with the Técnicas Medioambientales Tecmed, S.A. company [an investment partner of Cytrar S.A. de C.V.] over alleged noncompliance with the Agreement for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments ( Acuerdo para la Promoción y Protección Rec¡proca de Inversiones –APRI) reached with the Spanish Crown” (ICSID No. ARB(AF)/00/2, registered as No. 27 on the list of cases pending resolution).

The Party (Mexico) therefore requests that the Secretariat not proceed with the process for submission SEM-01-001, in accordance with Article 14(3)(a)of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

Federal Environmental Protection Law, article 7
General Law on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA), articles 28, 29, 32 and 153
LGEEPA Regulation on Hazardous Waste, article 7
Federal Criminal Code, article 415
Technical Ecological Standard NTE-CRP-010/88
Mexican Official Standard NOM-CRP-006-ECOL/1993


Academia Sonorense de Derechos Humanos, A.C. Lic. Domingo Gutiérrez Mendívil

Submission Timeline

February 14, 2001

The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 20/02/2001

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 12/02/2001

February 14, 2001

The Secretariat began reviewing the submission under Article 14(1)

April 24, 2001

The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 14(1) and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 14(2).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) and 14 (2) authored by Secretariat on 24/04/2001

June 5, 2001

The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14(3)(a) authored by Secretariat on 13/06/2001

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 19/07/2001

Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 05/06/2001

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 01/06/2001

July 29, 2002

The Secretariat informed Council that the Secretariat considers that the submission warrants development of a factual record.

Recommendation - Secretariat Notification to Council under Article 15(1) authored by Secretariat on 29/07/2002

December 10, 2002

The Council voted not to instruct the Secretariat to prepare a factual record.

Resolution - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 10/12/2002