[Coral-List] a large mexican island named "Jacques Cousteau"?!

Hector Reyes hreyes at uabcs.mx
Thu Nov 19 09:47:30 EST 2009

Dear coral listers, many of you might have heard the recent news that a
large Mexican island in the Gulf of California, originally called Isla
Cerralvo, was "re-named" as Isla Jacques Cousteau.

Nobody can deny the relevance of Mr Cousteau to show the marvels of the
oceans, and undoubtedly the Gulf of California gained international fame
because of his documentaries. However, geography of a nation is another
matter. The names are not "just assigned" but most of times they are a
signature of history. In this case, the conquistador Francisco de Ortega
named the island "Cerralvo" in 1632, celebrating the Virrey of Nueva
España who send the expedition that discover it.

As a consequence of all this, there is a movement in the state (Baja
California Sur) asking the federal government to revoke the decision.

I know that in the end this is just a quarrel between a government that
took a bad (very bad) decision, and the citizens. However, my point here
is that it is a shame that "Jacques Cousteau" is becoming an example, a
tag, of the persistence of authoritarian practices that should have
dissappeard a long time ago in our hurting third world.

Finally, for all those who can read Spanish, please take a look at these
articles in the most important newspaper in Baja California Sur, and in
another very important journal.



Hector Reyes

Héctor Reyes Bonilla
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur
Departamento de Biología Marina
Apartado postal 19-B, CP 23080. La Paz, B.C.S.

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