Let mosquitoes breed, face jail time under new law

Rubbish removal has helped eliminate mosquito-breeding sites. File photo: Sipse
Rubbish removal has helped eliminate mosquito-breeding sites. File photo: Sipse
Rubbish removal has helped eliminate mosquito-breeding sites. File photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — The state legislature has unanimously approved the Law for the Prevention and Control of Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes, imposing sanctions for owners of vacant lots that are breeding grounds. 

The rise of mosquito-borne diseases — denque, chikungunya and zika — have led to a bilateral agreement to get tougher on land owners.

Penalties for non-compliance with the law start with warning, then a fine, seizing the property, and even 36 hours in police custody.

This rule will also be disseminated in Spanish and Mayan to ensure the entire population understands their responsibilities. Allowing stagnant water to puddle encourage mosquito larvae, and vacant lots with accumulated rubbish have become more than an eyesore — they have become a health threat.

Landlords, tenants and property owners must eliminate natural or artificial containers, handle solid waste, drain stagnant water and allow access to sanitary verifiers accredited by the Ministry of Health, under the new law.

“The abandonment of tires, cans, bottles and other things that can store water is forbidden. It is the responsibility of all property owners to maintain the cleaning of exteriors and interiors of real estate, “said congresswoman Celia Rivas Rodríguez.

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