A local government in northern Mexico is getting tough on litterbugs by putting the mugshots of arrested offenders on billboards with the message "detained for being a pig.”
The controversial litterbug-shaming campaign is an aggressive ploy by the municipal government of San Nicolás, in the northern state of Nuevo León.
“The truth is we have to do something to change what is happening," said Mayor Pedro Salgado Almaguer in a press release. "In San Nicolás we give citizens the best domestic trash collection service in the country, and still we pick up 25 tons of trash from the streets and parks on a daily basis.”
Authorities say the first-time offenders receive a fine, which increases significantly for the second offense. If people get caught littering a third time they get arrested and their face displayed on a giant billboard for being a “pig.”
The government has already made an example out of local resident, identified on the roadside billboard as Jaime Antonio Molina Martínez. Critics, including the State’s Commission on Human Rights, say this type of public shaming is illegal and cruel.
Commissioner Minerva Martinez Garza said in a press release the municipality is engaging “in a cruel act that degrades the integrity of the person and his family.” The Commision has asked the municipality to remove the billboard, arguing that the punishment is a violation of the people's human rights.