In a statement published on October 25, organizations that defend human rights and the environment called on the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) to “strictly adhere to the highest standards of prior consultation in its sentence, to protect the Collective rights of the Zapotec community, and to order the cancellation of the permits granted to the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation (Eólica del Sur) for the construction of a wind turbine park in Juchitán, Oaxaca, as well as to impose fair reparation measures for the community. ” Next October 31, the highest judicial body will decide whether the human rights of the Zapotec community in the case were violated or not.
It is worth remembering that last May the SCJN attracted the actions for legal protections (amparos) filed by more than a thousand members of the Zapotec community of Juchitán regarding the consultation that was carried out to implement the project of the subsidiary of the transnational Mitsubishi, which, despite the pending litigation, has continued to advance in the construction of the megaproject.
The organizations expressed great concern about the draft resolution that the SCJN intends to present because they fear that a “decision that supports bad practices in indigenous consultations” could be enlisted.
At the press conference in which the statement was presented, Betina Cruz, representative of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory, recalled that since 2014 they oppose this wind farm, “the largest of its kind in Latin America”, since the consultation of the affected communities was given once the company had already obtained the government permits. She noted that currently the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has 1,915 wind turbines, in 24 parks, none installed with prior, free and informed consultations, as established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
For their part, members of the Zapotec community have denounced “that they have been criminalized and threatened before, during and after the consultation because of their opposition to the project, so it was never a free process or one done in good faith. Nor was complete information provided on the impacts of the project and its alternatives for the communities. Even the responsible authorities, like the Sener, sought to accelerate the process to endorse the project, in violation of the uses and customs of the community, and leaving pending issues for discussion ».
The organizations encouraged the SCJN “not to discard this unique opportunity to generate a historical precedent in favor of the effective protection of the indigenous peoples rights within the framework of the Energy Reform and to establish clear rules for the government on how to comply with its obligation to consult peoples and communities. Failure to correct its course, would be deepening the serious situation of discrimination experienced by indigenous communities in Mexico and would allow the reform to be implemented in clear violation of human rights.
For more information (In Spanish):
Opositores a Eólica del Sur, en Oaxaca, alertan por posible decisión de la Corte contra derecho de consulta indígena (Proceso, 25 de octubre de 2018)
Solicitan activistas a SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2018)
Piden a la SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (El Imparcial, 25 de octubre de 2018)
Piden a la Suprema Corte cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur por violar derechos humanos de comunidades indígenas (OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)