Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The Submitter asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws with respect to the authorization of an open-pit mining project in the town of Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potos¡. In submission SEM-07-001 (Minera San Xavier), the Submitter asserts that in April 2006 the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretar¡a de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales-Semarnat) violated a Mexican court ruling by authorizing -for a second time- the gold and silver mining project by Minera San Xavier, the Mexican subsidiary of Canadian company Metallica Resources Inc. The Submitter asserts that in 2000 it successfully filed an appeal that led to a judicial decision canceling the original authorization and requiring Semarnat to consider guidelines established by the court. The Submitter asserts that Semarnat failed to comply with the court’s ruling in reauthorizing the project.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In its response, Mexico states that an administrative tribunal determined that Semarnat’s authorization was compliant with the court order. Concerning the assertion of alleged failure to enforce the law in authorizing the project, Mexico explains that the project is conditional to the implementation of environmental impact mitigation programs; it states that the project meets the siting restrictions and asserts that the EIS contains correct figures on water availability and the project’s use of explosives. Mexico emphasizes that in issuing the authorization it observed the principle of sustainable development, but argues that the precautionary principle is not binding because it has not been incorporated into the General Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection Act (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente-LGEEPA).

In accordance with Article 14(3)(a) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), Mexico requested that the Secretariat proceed no further in processing the submission, asserting that the matter is the subject of pending judicial and administrative proceedings. Furthermore, it requested that the information provided by Mexico in this regard be kept confidential.

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente (LGEEPA); Reglamento de la LGEEPA en Materia de Impacto Ambiental (RIA); Reglamento de la LGEEPA en Materia de Residuos Peligrosos (RRP)

Submitter(s):

Pro San Luis Ecologico, A.C.

Submission Timeline

February 5, 2007

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

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 31/01/2007

February 6, 2007

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

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 06/02/2007

February 14, 2007

The Submitters corrected the minor errors of form.

February 14, 2007

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

April 4, 2007

The Secretariat notified the submitter(s) that the submission did not meet all of the Article 14(1) criteria and the submitter(s) had 30 days to provide the Secretariat with a revised submission that conforms with Article 14(1).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) authored by Secretariat on 04/04/2007

May 4, 2007

The Secretariat received a revised submission and began to analyze it.

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 30/04/2007

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 04/05/2007

June 29, 2007

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 29/06/2007

September 25, 2007

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 25/09/2007

Acknowledgement - authored by Secretariat on 28/09/2007

March 7, 2008

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

Secretariat Information Request - Secretariat Request to the Party for Additional Information under Article 21(1)(b) authored by Secretariat on 07/03/2008

June 5, 2008

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 05/06/2008

Acknowledgement - authored by Secretariat on 06/06/2008

July 15, 2009

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 15/07/2009