Oaxaca: Possible conflict regarding wind-energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec

The erection of new wind-energy plants in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec could cause more conflicts in the region, Oaxacan activists and academics have warned.  According to information made available by journalists, this year is planned the construction of six wind-energy parks and additional ones in the coming years.  The goal is to have 18 such parks functioning by 2014.  The parks are to be managed by Spanish and French firms that would sell the produced energy to the parastatal Federal Commission of Electricity.

Carlos Beas Torres, fromt he Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, has emphasized the  “right of peoples to be consulted,” given that the planned projects would affect the lands they hold.  He mentioned Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), ratified by the Mexican State, which grants indigenous peoples the right to be listened to and consulted regarding projects that affect them.  Víctor Leonel Juan Martínez, from the Autonomous University Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, pronounced himself similarly in recommending that the state government of Gabino Cué Monteagdo (Convergencia/PRD/PT/PAN) facilitate a reconciliation between investors and affected communities.  For his part, Óscar Cruz López, subsecretary of government, assured that the position of the new state government is to respect communities, while the coordinator of Strategic Projects of the state government warned that all the projects of mass-investment will be subjected to exhaustive analysis.

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