Guerrero: “Indigenous peoples are subject to rights and are not electoral merchandise”

Demostration against La Parota (@International Rivers)

On January 30, gubernatorial elections for governor will be held in the state of Guerrero. In this context, several groups in Guerrero, including the Organization of the Original Peoples for Social Development, the Guerrero Network of Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations, and the Chilapa Citizens Council, said in a statement “Indigenous peoples are subject to rights and are not electoral merchandise.” They warned that whoever wins the election on Sunday will not be allowed to undertake projects and programs without prior consultation with the peoples and communities that might be affected. They emphasized: “We denounce the construction of the La Parota dam project without the consent of the owners of the land, and we express our strong support for the decisions and actions that defend our indigenous brothers of the Montaña against the predatory mining companies which seek to exploit and plunder the mineral wealth of that region.”

Of course, the La Parota hydroelectric dam project has been a frequent theme in the debate between the gubernatorial candidates of Guerrero, with positions for or against… but none of them went directly to ask for the vote of the inhabitants of that zone. For their part, the members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the Construction of the La Parota Dam (CECOP) joined together with Priest, Jesús Mendoza Zaragoza, pastor of the church of Saint Nicolás de Bari, to explain their fear and uncertainty over the upcoming elections, because, he stated, none of the candidates for governor has given them sufficient confidence that the construction of the hydroelectric project will be prevented. One of the spokespeople of CECOP announced, after a meeting held last Sunday, that they agreed to attend the Catholic church to help rebuild the social fabric of the communities involved and initiate a new form of struggle and resistance to the positions expressed by the candidates.

For more information (in Spanish):

– Ningún proyecto sin la autorización de los pueblos, advierten ONG de La Montaña al próximo gobernador (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 de enero de 2011)

– Candidatos olvidan visitar La Parota (El Universal, 29 de enero de 2011)

– Se reúnen miembros del Cecop con párroco; piden ayuda para revitalizar el movimiento (La Jornada de Guerrero, 28 de enero de 2011)

– Apoyo de la Iglesia para acercar a los pueblos divididos por La Parota, pide el Cecop (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 de enero de 2011)

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