National: Map of over 800 Environmental Conflicts Caused by Megaprojects in 12 Years

map.png(@Heinrich Böll Foundation)

On February 27th, the academics Gisela Zaremberg (FLACSO Mexico) and Valeria Guarneros-Meza (De Montfort University), as members of the project “Speaking with Goliath: Participation, Mobilization y Repression Regarding Neo-extractivists and Environmental Conflicts”, presented a map of 879 conflicts that resulted from the implementation of 304 megaprojects, during the administrations of presidents Felipe Calderon Hinojosa (2006-2012) and Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018). The 304 works identified were related to mining, wind, hydroelectric, oil and gas pipeline infrastructure industries.

Their main findings, based on journalistic notes, reveal that the states with the most violent acts associated with mining are Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Puebla, Coahuila, Sonora, Durango and Michoacan; while oil fields have caused conflicts in Tabasco, Chiapas and Veracruz. Regarding gas pipelines, the sections with the most reported violent events are Puebla-Tlaxcala-Morelos, Sonora-Sinaloa and Chihuahua-Sinaloa. Hydroelectric installations generated violence in Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Guerrero; and wind projects, in Oaxaca and Yucatan.

Gisela Zaremberg explained that in “absolute terms”, the data analyzed show that mining is the activity that causes the greatest number of conflicts, followed by the extraction of hydrocarbons (oil fields and gas pipelines), hydroelectric projects and finally wind.

The data collected show that, contrary to what is usually thought, the communities that oppose a megaproject resort mainly to “institutionalized” action (such as injunction and law suits). However, those that combine this type of actions with other “non-institutionalized” ones (taking over facilities, public offices or companies, retention of officials) are the communities that seek to negotiate benefits. For their part, government players, in combination with companies, are those that are most frequently mentioned in relation to informal and illegal actions.

The journalistic notes compiled in the database were written by a total of 373 journalists. 18% of them have received threats or attacks. However, it is not possible to establish if the threats had to do with their coverage of socio-environmental conflicts or other matters. The main states where threats or aggressions were reported to communicators in the investigation were Puebla, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Mexico City, Chiapas and Veracruz.

For more information in Spanish:

Minería y energía detonan 879 conflictos en México; los ligan al crimen, empresas y gobiernos (Sin Embargo, 2 de marzo de 2019)

Oaxaca, entre los estados con más violencia por conflictos medioambientales (El Universal, 2 de marzo de 2019)

Más de 800 conflictos socioambientales por megaproyectos mineros y energéticos (Contralínea, 27 de febrero de 2019)

Identifican más de 800 conflictos socioambientales generados por proyectos mineros y energéticos en los últimos 12 años (Fundación Heinrich Böll, 27 de febrero de 2019)

Presentación Powerpoint (FLACSO México, 27 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Verdict of the Popular Community Trial against the Mexican State and the mining companies (January 4th, 2019)

Guerrero/National: 13th Meeting of MAPDER in Cacahuatepec (December 12th, 2018)

National/International: Global Witness Publishes “At What Price? Irresponsible Business and the Murder of Land and Environment Defenders 2017”
(August 6th, 2018)

National: CEMDA 2017 Report Shows Increase in Vulnerability of Environmental Defenders (March 26th, 2018)


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