Erika Celene Venalonzo Camacho, councillor for the Morena political party (centre-left) in the municipality of Comondu in the north-western Mexican state of Baja California Sur, shared the photo on WhatsApp.
The image shows a cooked loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), listed as endangered on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), being served up in its large shell.
According to the news site El Universal, one of the councillor’s WhatsApp contacts shared the image on social media where it was widely circulated, sparking outrage among netizens for cooking a traditional dish that is now illegal.
However, newspaper Infobae said that Venalonzo Camacho defended herself by claiming the photo was taken back in 1979 when she was a child and her father managed the restaurant El Marino.
She said that she was going through her old photo albums and came across the nostalgic snap, so she thought she would share it because it was taken during a time when eating turtles was allowed.
Meanwhile, netizens said that the image quality appeared to be digital and not that of a near 50-year-old camera.
As well as the IUCN, the National Commission of Protected Areas and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) also include loggerhead turtles on their protected lists.
It is unclear whether the local authorities will look into the councillor’s social media snap.
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