April 2003
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Pollution Problems in Mexico
By Lindsey Burke, Grade 12, Holy Angels High, Sydney, NS

Brenda Gomez is a sixteen-year-old girl from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She is attending Holy Angels High School in Sydney, Nova Scotia for a semester to learn the English language and more about our country. I had the opportunity to ask Brenda the following questions about pollution in her country.

Lindsey: Brenda, in your opinion, what is the number one pollution problem in Mexico?
Brenda: Although my country has one of the highest smog problems in the world, I would have to say the contamination of our water. It is very hard to find clean, safe water to drink.

Lindsey: What factors contribute to this problem?
Brenda: The people in our country cause the majority of problems with pollution. They throw garbage and waste into the filtration system, which is causing the contamination of the water.

Lindsey: Has this pollution problem had any effects on the country's climate?
Brenda: The problem with our water hasn't really had an effect on our climate. However the smog and air pollution makes it really hot.

Lindsey: Is there any health problems related to this issue?
Brenda: Yes, since it is very hard to find clean water, many people have to drink the dirty water. This makes a lot of people sick, and leads to serious stomach problems.

Lindsey: What has the government done to decrease pollution in Mexico?
Brenda: The government is still working out ways to make people stop polluting the water, but there are no actual laws against it yet.

Lindsey: Is it easy for factories and major corporations to come into your country and take advantage of your high limits allowed for things such as gases, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide?
Brenda: Yes, it is very easy for companies from other countries to move their factories to Mexico. Our government allows it because it provides jobs for the people.

Lindsey: Have there ever been days when you have found it hard to breathe or see while you are outside?
Brenda: In my city, no, the pollution is not that extreme. But when I go to Mexico City, yes, there are many days when it is hard to see and also breathe outside.

Lindsey: Are there any laws implemented to reduce pollution in the future?
Brenda: Officials are currently working on our pollution problems in my country. Right now there is nothing stopping people from contaminating the water, but there is a well-supported idea of giving out fines.


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