Mexico is the latest country to consider making “ecocide” an official crime.
“It is time to react and point out these failings in our legislation so that [these harmful acts] are punished with the gravity they deserve. Let them not continue to go unpunished,” urges Congresswoman Barrón Perales.
If passed, the Mexican bill would criminalize “any unlawful or wanton act committed with the knowledge that there is substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment.” Anyone found guilty of ecocide would be subject to up to 15 years in jail and a fine of up to 1,500 pesos per day. Ecocide as a crime is becoming more widespread worldwide, with Vietnam, Ukraine, and Russia already having criminalized the act. France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Scotland, and Brazil have all either passed some form of law or are in the process of drafting a law that will ban ecocide. Indeed, damaging the environment is already an offense in most countries, but putting “ecocide” into penal law will ensure that anyone who violates the law will be trailed accordingly.