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Mexico's San Nicolas anti-litter shame billboards disapproved by state legislators

By
Tomas Monzon
San Nicolas de los Garza in Mexico. Screenshot: Google Maps
San Nicolas de los Garza in Mexico. Screenshot: Google Maps

SAN NICOLAS, Mexico, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A campaign by the Mexican city of San Nicolas to plaster serial litterers' faces on highway billboards was disapproved by state legislators.

The affluent city of San Nicolas de los Garza, located near the Mexico-Texas border, got fed up during the summer with individuals who continue to dump trash throughout the city in places they should not. Mayor Pedro Salgado said that something had to be done, and despite the city having the best home garbage collection in the country, 25 tons of trash were being picked up from streets and parks on a daily basis. The street trash can also block sewers and drainage systems, leading to unsafe, flooded streets during the rain season.

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To that end, the city decided to showcase litterers caught for the third time on highway billboards as part of a new ad campaign against littering. In addition, criminals would still have to pay a fine.

Jaime Antonio Molina Martinez was the first and only individual to be publicly advertised as having been "detained for being a pig," as the Nuevo Leon state legislature found the city's program to be going a little too far in their anti-litter campaign.

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The legislature found the act unconstitutional at the end of July, which prompted them to cover up the mugshot side of these billboards with a white-on-black message that reads as follows.

"We don't agree, but in keeping with the resolution for civil rights, we will cover the face of those who dirty our city."

Prior to the cover-up, the mayor argued that serial litterers violate the human rights of his constituents by causing floods and endangering lives.

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