Missing Mexican island Bermeja fuels mystery
Lawmakers in Mexico are trying to determine the whereabouts of island central to the country's oil claims, which appears literally to have dropped off the map about 10 years ago.
Bermeja island in the Gulf of Mexico -- a strategic marker defining US and Mexican maritime and subsea rights -- has disappeared along with documents backing up a bilateral treaty on major oil reserves in the area, fueling rumors of a CIA plot.
"There are two stories about how it disappeared: one is that global warming raised the sea level and it is under water," said Mexican lawmaker Elias Cardenas, of the Convergence Party.
"The other is that ... it was blown up by the CIA so that the United States would get the upper hand in Hoyos de Dona" -- the oil reserves area.
Low-lying Bermeja, a smallish 80 km2 (31 sq miles), until 30 years ago was the official land point from which Mexico set its 200 nautical-mile economic zone.
The Alacranes islands now are being used as the marker, sharply reducing Mexico's economic zone.
In June 2000, Mexico and the United States signed a treaty putting a 10-year moratorium on their prospecting and pumping activities in the area. It is set to expire in 2011.
But "we do not have information about how this accord was signed," Cardenas said, while Bermeja north of Yucatan and Campeche states, had been mapped as far back as 1669.
Bermeja appears in a 1998 book of Mexican islands by the Interior Ministry, but in 1997 a Navy fishing expedition reported it could not locate the island, Cardenas said.
The foreign ministry did not respond to an AFP request for comment on the case.
Miguel Angel Gonzalez Felix, a foreign ministry legal adviser when the treaty was negotiated, last June told senators the island was some 40 to 50 meters (120 to 150 feet) under water.
Six days later, several Mexican senators said in a statement that "a force of nature (able to sink an island) does not take place without anyone noticing, and much less so when it is sitting in an area with more than 22 billion barrels of oil reserves."
Lawmakers have demanded President Felipe Calderon account for how Bermeja Island disappeared from Mexican territory.
Source: Missing Mexican island fuels mystery
Did Hurricane 'Jeanne' Wipe Out an Entire Island?
Tortuga Island Disaster Now Confirmed
The missing library of Iona
The Lost Lands of Mu and Lemuria
Earthquake Moves Island of Sumatra
Latest News from our Front Page
Estonia must accept African & Middle Eastern immigrants says politician
Kalle Laanet, an Estonian politician, spoke at the International Migration Forum held in Tallinn. He told the audience that the question is not: Should Estonia take the African and the Middle Eastern immigrants (who illegally entered Southern Europe)? He said the question is: How will Estonia take the immigrants?
“Today the issue is not whether Estonia should receive the refugees coming to ...
Rescuing Palmyra: History's lesson in how to save artefacts
With Islamic State militants now inside the historic town of Palmyra in Syria, the question, inevitably, is whether they will destroy the ancient ruins.
As IS continues to sweep through parts of Iraq and Syria, damage to centuries-old artefacts - because IS sees statues and shrines as idolatrous - is plentiful.
But history has shown that, when culturally important sites are under ...
Saudi Arabia Wants to Convert Sweden to Islam
Aje Carlbom is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Malmö
Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has actively spread its interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism or Salafism, worldwide. It is the most literal version of Islam and affects many young Muslims, who regard society as a place to Islamize, writes social anthropologist Aje Carlbom.
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström was ...
Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You're 'Unfairly Disadvantaging' Others
According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they're "unfairly disadvantaging other people's children" by doing so.
In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since "bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . ...
If You Read About Conspiracies You're Just Like Osama Bin Laden Apparently
At its heart, the story of Osama bin Laden's time at his house in Abbottabad is surreal. The American image of bin Laden - leering at us from under his head wrap as he plots and schemes - is undermined by the mundane realities of his life. The guy was responsible for murdering thousands of Americans and orchestrating a global ...
|More News » |