Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park

October 25, 2015

Conferencia de prensa @ Cencos

Press-conference @ Cencos

On 12 October, representatives from the indigenous Binni’zaa (Zapotec) community from Juchitán de Zaragoza reported that, due to the legal motion they had submitted against the construction and the operation of the megaproject advanced by the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation on their lands, a judicial order has been made to suspend all the authorizations, permits, approvals, licenses, and land-use changes awarded by local and federal officials. The demand for the motion had been presented by 1,166 Binni’zaa indigenous people, and the suspension was approved on 30 September 2015.

“We demand that all the authorities and firms involved in the Southern Wind-Energy project observe with the demand made by the judge to suspend this work, meanwhile we wish to denounce that as a consequence of this judicial resolution, harassment has increased against the people who had advanced the legal motion,” they indicated in a press-conference. Beyond this, they added that “there was no public consultation, given that last January the project had been approved by the Regulatory Commission on Energy and the Environmental and Natural Resources Ministry, but it was not until June of this year that the consultation was carried out. In any case, it was mere simulation.” Beyond this, it was recalled that the Southern Wind-Energy Firm belongs to the same groups of capitalists that in 2012 comprised the Mareña Renewables firm, against which the indigenous had won a different legal motion two years ago. But it has returned now with another name.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pueblo indígena detiene megaproyecto eólico en Istmo de Tehuantepec (Cencos, 13 de octubre de 2015)

Ordena juez frenar obras de megaproyecto eólico en Oaxaca (Proceso, 12 de octubre de 2015)

Logran amparo para evitar construcción de parque eólico en Juchitán (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 13 de octubre de 2015)

Análisis de la Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental y del Resolutivo del Proyecto “Eólica del Sur” (Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad, agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation (11 September 2015)

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: indigenous organizations and peoples challenge federal reforms, considering them to be “a legalized land grab”

July 27, 2014

(@Otros Mundos Chiapas)

(@Other Worlds Chiapas)

On 14 July, upon the close of the “Water and Energy” seminar held in Oaxaca de Juárez, civil organizations and communities pertaining to the Mixteco, Chatino, Zapotec, and Mixe peoples of the state of Oaxaca as well as organizations from Chiapas and Mexico City issued a communique denouncing the reforms being implemented in the country.  They indicated that said reforms betray a lack of respect for humanity rights and represent “a legalized land grab,” given that they were approved to favor national and international firms.

The authors of the communique explained that the laws on Hydrocarbons, National Waters, Mining, Public Service of Electricity, Geothermal Energy, Housing, Foreign Investment, Expropriation, National Goods, Labor, Regulation of Energy, Public and Private Associations, the National Agency on Industrial Security, Protection of the Environment, Education, and Telecommunications “have been presented and approved without the participation of the communities and citizenry in general who live in the country.”

They denounced that “they have found the three levels of government to lie, trick, threaten with death, repress, arbitrarily arrest, forcibly disappear, and even execute communal human-rights defenders,” and they affirmed that they will continue defending their lands and territories amidst this new attempt at looting.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de organizaciones y pueblos indígenas (14 de julio de 2014)

Pueblos de Oaxaca repudian despojo de Peña Nieto con Ley Energética(Ciudadanía Expres, 17 de julio de 2014)

Rechazan comunidades las reformas de EPN (Noticias.net, 18 de julio de 2014)

Reforma Energética legaliza el despojo territorial a pueblos indígenas: ONG´s (Página3.mx, 18 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English): 

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Oaxaca: Communards from Unión Hidalgo request that the TUA totally nullify Demex contracts

June 24, 2013

Foto @ La Jornada

Members of the Zapotec indigenous community of Unión Hidalgo, located in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have publicly announced the presentation of their case before the Agrarian Unitary Tribunal (TUA) to absolutely nullify the rent contracts they had signed with the wind-energy firm Mexican Wind Developments (Demex), which is a subsidiary of the Renovalia Energy firm from Spain.

Demex first approached the Unión Hidalgo community at the beginning of 2007, expressing its desire to rent their lands for the development of a wind-energy park called Piedra Larga I.  The rent proposal promised large benefits and the possibility of continuing to utilize the lands for day labor of agriculture and pastoralism.  However, the community was not informed of the precise magnitude of the wind-energy park, nor of the implications that this would have in terms of the development of their everyday lives.

Such was the report made by Guadalupe Ramírez Castellanos and Esteban López Sánchez, members of the Committee of Resistance to the Piedra Larga Wind-Energy Project, who indicated that they within a period of two weeks the TUA would order a suspension of the project to protect their agrarian and collective rights as indigenous peoples, “in light of the violation against these that is perpetrated by the firm, the lies, criminalization of protests, pollution of lands and waters, together with the deaths of birds and land animals that the first stage of Demex’s wind-energy park which is already operating.”  They also noted that “it was overlooked that the land is collective property and, as such, demands prior informed consent, beyond the assemblies which are carried out to approve change in use of land.  Instead, there were created false small properties so as to sign individual contracts, changing the collective nature of these lands.”

López Sánchez added that “Demex raised the land to install the wind-energy generations, and this causes the water to pool, thus leading the maize and sorghum crops to spoil.  For this reason, wind-energy is not clean energy for us; instead, it is an energy of death.”a

It should be noted that other communities in the Isthmus, such as San Dionisio, Álvaro Obregón, and Playa San Vicente among others, have initiated a series of legal resistance actions to denounce the practices of violation that are being imposed by renewable-energy plans.

For more information (in Spanish):

La comunidad indígena zapoteca de Unión Hidalgo, Oaxaca, presenta demanda agraria en contra de la empresa eólica española Demex (PRODESC, 12 de junio de 2013)

Zapotecos presentan recurso contra proyecto eólico (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2013)

Zapotecos buscan anular contrato de tierras con empresa eólica (Milenio, 12 de junio de 2013)

Empresas eólicas en México desoyen sus propias recomendaciones (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Meeting of People in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepc Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)

Oaxaca: confrontations between PRI militants and opponents to wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (7 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Zapotecos expel Canadian mine from Magdalena Teitipac

March 5, 2013

Asamblea en Magdalena Teitipac (@La Jornada)

On 26 February, in a general assembly, hundreds of women and men from Magdalena Teitipac, a Zapotec community of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, decided to expel the mining firm Plata Real, which is a subsidiary of the Canadian Linear Gold Corporation.  The assembly accused the company of having polluted the rivers and tributaries during its mineral exploitation, which involved the application of cyanide, arsenic, and mercury.  The assembly also closed off access to the municipality so as to avoid the entrance of workers to the mine, and they formally denounced the president for communal resources, Fructuoso Martínez, whom they accuse of having collaborated with the firm in extending the original contract signed in May 2009 with Philip Frank Pyle, vicepresident of the Linear Gold Corporation, for five years–this without having warned the community.

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapotecos expulsan a minera canadiense (La Jornada, 26 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Canadian and U.S. trade unionists demands laws and sanctions against mining firms (26 February 2013)

Oaxaca: Close of meeting “Yes to Life, No to Mining” with declaration (24 January 2013)

Oaxaca: Forum “Yes to Life, No to Mining” from 17 to 20 January (15 January 2013)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Civil Mission of Observation “Water is Life; Let us Defend its Existence” (8 September 2010)