Library filed under Impact on People from Mexico
Communities in Oaxaca say they were hoodwinked into approving wind parks that pollute their land. As another development looms, they're hoping a legal injunction puts power back in their hands.
It’s now time for Anheuser-Busch to shed its superficial ‘green’ veneer and take corrective action to reverse the harms its wind purchases have caused. This includes publicly abandoning the ‘100% renewable energy’ goal which, if continued, is certain to bring more, and greater international destruction.
In an interview, he revealed that the Spanish company, Iberdrola, lies to the peasants, to whom it assures that there will be no environmental impact in their communities due to the construction and operation of the wind farm, when the Semarnat Environmental Impact Manifestation (MIA) determined that there is irreversible damage to the endemic flora and fauna of these villages of popoloca origin. He even said that the laying of high-voltage towers will cross the town of Puente Colorado in half, exposing its population to electromagnetic fields that alter health and could cause cancer.
However, a project dubbed Eólica del Sur, Sydvind, which has been given the go-ahead involving the Danish firm Vestas, has been drawing fire from indigenous peoples in the Oaxaca region. The Mexican government is being accused of going ahead with the project and riding roughshod over the feelings of the people living in the area – one of the poorest in Mexico.
A group of activists filed the injunction request on the grounds that the rights of local indigenous communities were violated during the planning and development process for the US $600-million project.
Yesterday, the municipal representative in Pueblo Viejo, Francisco Álvarez, led a group of supporters to the beach where they set fire to some 20 palapa-roofed houses belonging to the fishermen. ...The fishermen claim that Álvarez wants to force them to leave the land so the municipality can grant it to the wind farm project.
Some 500 people from Unión Hidalgo marched Saturday to protest the planned Gunaa Sicarú wind farm that firm Eléctricité de France (EDF) plans to build, according to local media reports. The coastal town and fishing community of Unión Hidalgo is inhabited by people of the indigenous Zapoteco ethnic group, who claim to not have been consulted about the planned project.
Besides the lack of information, and of free, prior and informed consent, as the law and international conventions require, indigenous people complain about impacts on migratory birds, rise in temperatures in areas with solar panels and water pollution caused by leaks from wind towers. ... the process of energy development has legal loopholes that have to do with superficial contracts and environmental impact studies.
Mexican and foreign energy companies have paid off local power brokers to bring landowners on board, according to lawyers and activists. Yet in some cases, money they had donated for social projects evaporated in the hands of municipal officials. “We’ve had years of wind projects, but poverty is the same.”
This useful paper provides a detailed review of wind energy development in southern Mexico and the resulting opposition to the projects. Excerpts of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
A palm hat worn down by time covers the face of Celestino Bortolo Teran, a 60-year-old Indigenous Zapotec man. He walks behind his ox team as they open furrows in the earth. A 17-year-old youth trails behind, sowing white, red and black corn, engaging in a ritual of ancient knowledge shared between local people and the earth.
“All these agencies and companies are in lockstep on this green energy rush, whether it’s actually beneficial to us or not,” said Donna Tisdale, a resident of Boulevard in East San Diego County. Tisdale is leading the lawsuit against Energía Sierra Juárez, which also names the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Among other things, the lawsuit claims the Department of Energy issued a Presidential Permit without considering environmental impacts in Mexico or alternative clean energy projects, as required by law.
This means a tense and possibly bloody situation is emerging and the people of Álvaro Obregón will need support in their struggle for autonomy against the invasion of wind turbines, political parties and the state police and military. ...Such “green” construction, it turns out, isn’t much different from many other large-scale industrial projects that altered or destroy the natural environment and the people who stand in the way of these kinds of developments.
“It hurts us that our land is affected, and the environmental impacts are not even measured. Wind farm projects affect streams and hurt the flora,” said Zapotec Indian Isabel Jiménez, who is taking part in the struggle against the installation of a wind park in southern Mexico.
San Mateo del Mar already said "No" to the proposed wind project in 2007. However, the Mexican government and big companies refuse to leave us in peace, causing divisions and conflicts in our communities. Even if we refused, the negative effects of this mega-project will hit us anyway, because we live in the same area and share the same ecosystems. Now we are asking ourselves: what will we live from if the sea and the lagoons are contaminated?
"There is a pattern of human rights violations in the communities. Wind energy companies advertise themselves well, offering money and jobs, but the jobs are temporary. The companies' actions are not transparent, nor do they meet established standards," Alejandra Ancheita, the head of Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales.
The wind farm projects is already affecting the lives of Zapotec peoples, as well as our Ikoots communities, living in Isthmus - Mexico's windiest region. Zapotec communities that depend on agriculture and livestock farming have already seen their fields overtaken by wind turbines, limiting their food sovereignty and impoverishing soil fertility.
Foreign energy firms have flocked to a narrow region of southern Mexico, known as one of the world's windiest places, to build towering wind turbines ...their presence has angered some of the indigenous populations, with some protests turning violent. Last week, more than 20 people were injured when police clashed with a group of protesters.
Saul Celaya, a Huave Indian farmer and San Dionisio resident, said the lagoon project would damage mangrove swamps where fish, shrimp and other sea life breeds, and scare off the fish that locals depend on. "Just when they were doing soil studies, there was a mass die-off of fish," Celaya said, adding that projects opponents "are being intimidated, they're afraid to leave their houses, they're threatened."
The groups recalled that the Oaxaca state ombud's office on Nov. 14 issued a note urging authorities to protect the activist's safety. That after Cruz Velazquez and members of the so-called Committee for the Resistance to the Union Hidalgo Wind Project were attacked on Oct. 28, 2011, by local political bosses and municipal police while protesting against construction of wind turbines on their land.