Zapotec ejidatarios from Unión Hidalgo in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec have denounced that they have been threatened by representatives of the Spanish firm Demex who on 23 June arrived with State Agents of Investigation (AEI) who, armed, observed and protected the Spanish businesspeople aboard a white Nissan truck without tags. These ejidatarios have been organizing themselves to protest that Demex has failed to comply with its promises to rent their lands and avoid greater environmental degradation by means of the construction of a wind-energy project that would supply the bread-making operations of the Bimbo corporation.
In a press-release the affected, supported by the Assembly of the Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, denounced that “The intent of the representatives of Demex is to displace us from our lands by threatening us and intimidating us with the presence of the [AEI] who have declared that they continue with a penal investigation against us due to our opposition to false development thoroughly unfair contract.”
They assured that the Spanish firm entered their lands without giving them complete information about the project, in violation of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, which stipulates that “It should be prevented that foreign persons take advantage of the customs of peoples or their lack of knowledge of laws to appropriate property or the possession or use of their lands.”
They warned that they have agreed to organize themselves to recover their lands and demand the cancellation of the rent-contracts. At the same time they demand “the cancellation of the wind-energy megaproject of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec due to its violation of the rights of indigenous peoples. The cancellation of the civil-rent contracts that we have signed with Demex, the cancellation of the investigations and arrest-orders against all of us who oppose the looting of our territory. [We would also like to know whether] the government of Gabino Cué is on the side of the people or on the side of the firms.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Zapotecos acusan de abusos a empresa española constructora de parque eólico (La Jornada, 27 June 2011)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):