National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace

Protesta contra el proyecto hidroeléctrico de Paso de la Reina. Foto (@Sipaz)

Protest against the hydroelectric dam Paso de la Reina. Photo (@Sipaz)

During the last week of April, the office of the President of Mexico published its decree to approve the National Program on Infrastructure (PNI) for 2014-2018 through the Housing Ministry.

According to President Enrique Peña Nieto, the PNI “is the general strategy for the construction of works and projects that will contribute importantly to liberating the potential of our country.”

The Program, which is backed by 7.7 billion pesos from public and private funds, comprises six strategic sectors (communication and transport, energy, hydraulics, health, tourism, and urban development and housing) contemplated for 25 strategies and 23 lines of action.

In the presentation of the PNI, it was announced that the program would have presence primarily in the south and southeastern regions of the country, where 189 projects are sought to increase touristic, agro-fishing, energy, and industrial potential.

Some of the projects announced within the PNI that are to be implemented by 2018 have generated a great deal of rejection from the populations that will be affected by their development, such as, among others, the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam in Oaxaca and Chicoasén II in Chiapas, the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Palenque, and the Sureste II-V wind-energy plants in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  These projects have been rejected by local communities and organizations due to the grave impacts they could have on local peoples, such as loss of lands, environmental degradation, or displacement, given the lack of observation of the rights of local peoples to be informed and consulted previously about any administrative or legislative decree that could affect them, as is stipulated by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, which has been signed by Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Enfocan obras en el sur-sureste (Am, 28 de abril de 2014)

Publican decreto para el Programa Nacional de Infraestructura 2014(Excelsior, 29 de abril de 2014)

Cinco entidades dominan el programa de infraestructura (El Economista, 05 de mayo de 2014)

Documento: Programa Nacional de Infraestructura  2014-2018

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: the International Day against Dams is celebrated (24 March 2012)

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