Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The Submitters assert that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law in connection with a contaminated site located in Zapopan, Jalisco, on which construction of the La Ciudadela development is planned.

In submission SEM-08-001 (La Ciudadela Project), the Submitters assert that the environmental authorities failed to ensure soil remediation on a site contaminated with heavy metals (including thallium, cadmium, nickel and lead, among others) where electronic component manufacturing took place for over 30 years. The Submitters state that the lot selected by SSC Inmobiliaria for the development of La Ciudadela, is still contaminated with heavy metals, even though the company carried out final disposal of thallium-contaminated soil.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In its response, Mexico asserts that the mere existence of contamination at the Labna property does not necessarily invoke a liability as defined in Mexican environmental law, and adds that the documentation supplied with the submission does not allow a determination of the existence of a liability at the property in question. Further, the Party argues that the competent authority has determined that samples taken at the property showed normal levels of radiation present in the site’s soils and water; that the soil analysis study provided by the Submitters to support their assertions does not meet the relevant requirements under Mexican rules; and that the citizen complaint referenced in the submission was promptly addressed by the Office of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente-Profepa).

Mexico asserts that, pursuant to Article 14(3) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), the Secretariat should not continue with the submission process because the matter is the subject of three pending judicial proceedings, an ongoing criminal investigation, and three administrative proceedings before Jalisco state courts. Mexico contends that the submission is not aimed at promoting the effective enforcement of environmental law and is not supported by documentary evidence.

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente-LGEEPA); General Law for Waste Prevention and Comprehensive Management (Ley para la Prevención y Gestión Integral de Residuos-LGPGIR)


Instituto de Derecho Ambiental, A.C., Asociación Vecinal Jardines del Sol, A.C. and Colonos de Bosques de San Isidro, A.C.

Submission Timeline

February 22, 2008

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

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 25/02/2008

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 18/02/2008

April 24, 2008

Under guideline 3.10, the Secretariat requested the submitter(s) to correct minor errors of form.

May 3, 2008

The Submitters corrected the minor errors of form.

July 2, 2008

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 02/07/2008

September 26, 2008

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

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 26/09/2008

Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 03/10/2008

October 3, 2008

The Secretariat requested additional information from the concerned government Party under Article 21(1)(b).

Secretariat Information Request - Other document authored by Secretariat on 03/10/2008

June 2, 2010

The Secretariat received the requested information from the concerned government Party.

Other Documents - Additional information provided by Party under Article 21 (1)(b) authored by Mexico on 26/05/2010

Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 02/06/2010

August 12, 2010

The Secretariat determined not to recommend the preparation of a factual record. Under guideline 9.6, the process was terminated.

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 15 (1) authored by Secretariat on 12/08/2010