National: Organizations and Activists Highlight Irregularities in Dismissal of Elena Burns from CONAGUA

On October 31st, security personnel from the offices of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) informed Elena Burns, who until then was deputy director general of Water Administration of the agency, that by order of the director general, German Martinez, they could not allow her access to the building.

Shortly after, she was informed of her removal from office, arguing that measures should be “implemented to reduce the backlog in terms of national water concessions.”

The next day, two members of Burns’ team, Oscar Monroy, former rector of UAM Iztapalapa and an expert in water matters, and Rolando Cañas, an environmental lawyer, were also blocked when trying to enter their offices.

In interviews, Elena Burns pointed out that her area of ​​work received constant pressure from lawyers to deliver concessions, even in places where there is no availability. She has also mentioned that “the National Water Law encourages the purchase and sale of concessions, which is why I have sought, with my hands tied, what to do to stop it, while we see that major interests in the country are acquiring the rights of ejidos and communities. The concentration of water control, which is very strong, increases every day.”

On learning of this situation, various organizations dedicated to the defense of water, land and human rights expressed their annoyance and expressed their solidarity with the former undersecretary and issued a statement denouncing the irregularities in the case: “(…) We recognize Elena Burns and his team as officials committed to promoting a transformation in the national water policy and making the human right to water a reality (…)”

For more information in Spanish:

Destituyen a subdirectora de Conagua (La Jornada 01 de noviembre de 2022)

Las razones de la destitución de Elena Burns en Conagua (Crónica 04 de noviembre de 2022)

Activistas acusaron atropello del gobierno con la destitución de Elena Burns de Conagua (Infobae 03 de noviembre de 2022)

Comunidades indígenas y ONG´s respaldan labor de Elena Burns luego de su despido de Conagua (Educa 03 de noviembre de 2022)

Posicionamiento organizaciones (Twitter Flor y Canto 01 de noviembre de 2022)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: COPUDA Urges CONAGUA to Publish Decree to Guarantee Right to Water for Zapotec Communities in Central Valleys (August 11, 2020)

Oaxaca: Marcha Copuda para exigir cumplimiento de acuerdos a Conagua (October 13, 2020)

Oaxaca : Coordinadora de Pueblos Unidos por el Cuidado y la Defensa del Agua (COPUDA) denuncia riesgo en la consulta para la administración de los recursos hídricos de los Valles Centrales (April 20, 2020) 

Oaxaca: Comunidades zapotecas reciben los primeros títulos de concesión comunitaria de agua en México (August 10, 2022)

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