The Papagayo river, site of the planned La Parota hydroelectric project
November 6 through 8, national networks, social organizations and communities from the states of Guerrero, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Distrito Federal, Estado de México, Jalisco, Nayarit, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí and Veracruz, participated in the Popular Gathering “Water, Energy and Alternative Energies” which took place in the community of Aguacaliente, in the Communal Lands of Cacahuatepec, municipality of Acapulco, Guerrero. The gathering was organized by the Mexican Movement of People Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER, Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa de los Ríos), the No to Mining Mexican Network (REMA, Red Mexicana No a la Minería) and the Mexican Alliance for the Self-Determination of the People (AMAP, Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos), among others.
The final declaration emphasizes the importance of the unification of distinct struggles against electricity generating mega-projects as well as mining projects throughout the country. The call for unification was made in order to halt the destructive impacts of such projects which include forced displacement of entire communities, environmental degradation and the undoing of the social fabric in those regions affected.
The declaration also highlights concrete achievements made during the gathering including participation in civil resistance by refusing to pay electricity bills, the creation of a national campaign against the privatization of water and other energy sources (such as the case of PEMEX) and the decision confront transnational mining in Mexico. In addition, it demands the cancelation of hydroelectric projects such as La Parota in Guerrero, El Zapotillo in Jalisco and Paso de la Reina in Oaxaca. It also calls for a cease to the wind energy project in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, Oaxaca and a closing of the Blackfire Exploration mines in the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas as well as the San Xavier mines in the municipality of Cerro de San Pedro, in San Luis Potosí.
The last sentence of the declaration asks an important question: “What are we going to celebrate in 2010, which marks the bicentennial anniversary of national independence as well as the 100 year anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, when new forms of slavery and exclusion have grown and proliferated in the country as well as the subjugation to neo-colonial interests represented by major corporations who have looted our nation of its wealth?”