During the seminar in Álvaro Obregón @ SIPAZ
From 26 to 28 July, there was held an international seminar entitled “Energy megaprojects and indigenous territory: The Isthmus at the Crossroads,” which was held in the city of Juchitan de Zaragoza in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, in which participated state, national, and international organizations, all of them committed to the struggle against wind-energy projects in the region.
Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of Indigenous People from the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, noted that the objective of the seminar was to create a dialogue between the peoples in resistance and investigators and academics, so as to promote alternatives within this area. The thematic panels which were held included the following: political and economic reasons for looting megaprojects, human rights and indigenous peoples, indigenous and popular resistance, and organizations and visions for the future. The panels had speakers and researchers from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia, including Michael W. Chamberlin, from INICIA, or Initiatives for Identity and Inclusion A.C.; Ramona Margarita Díaz, from the Departmental Assembly for Defense of Popti’ Territory and Linguistic Community, Guatemala; Edmundo del Pozo, from the Foundation Center for Analysis and Investigation; Ricardo Verdum, from the University of Brasilia; and Eckart Boege, from the Network for Ethnoecology and Biocultural Patrimony of Mexico, among others.
During the course of the seminar, participants visited the ex-hacienda of General Heliodoro Charis Castro, located in the municipal agency of Álvaro Obregón, close to the barricade of those opposed to the wind-energy projects. With the slogan “We are here, we do not sell out, we do not give up: we continue!” the members of the Council of Elderly of Álvaro Obregón, the “General Charis” Communal Police, and the Assembly of Álvaro Obregón sent the message to the state and federal governments that they will continue struggling against the wind-energy projects that are planned to be installed in the Barra of Santa Teresa in the Tehuantepec Gulf. Representing the Zapotec opponents to this wind-energy project, Pedro Orozco López indicated that the residents do not believe the version presented by the firm Mareña Renewables–that is, that it has suspended its work–given that it has not definitively left the region. However, it is true that the firm has left the region at least temporarily, but the communards are concerned that it will return under a different name. In this way, the Assembly of Álvaro Obregón has denounced the harassment suffered during a year of struggle against the federal and state governments, which support the wind-energy projects in the Isthmus region. They also announced that they would continue having the communal police in the city, so as to protect the population from the invasion by wind-energy corporations.
For more information (in Spanish):
En Juchitán realizan seminario internacional de megaproyectos eólicos (Página3, 28 de julio de 2013)
Aquí seguimos”, opositores eólicos en seminario internacional (Educa, 29 de julio de 2013)
“Aquí seguimos”, opositores eólicos de Álvaro Obregón (Quadratín Oaxaca, 27 de julio de 2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):