dorset chiapas solidarity

June 19, 2015

Oaxaca Wind Farm Project Violates Human Rights Charge Indigenous Communities

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:15 am


Oaxaca Wind Farm Project Violates Human Rights Charge Indigenous Communities


Matilde Pérez U.

La Jornada, 10th June, 2015

In the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are found 21 of the country’s 31 wind farms, the majority of which are financed by Spain. The indigenous communities have insisted that expanding the wind farms violates their human rights, as they were not consulted, and the wind farms were built without the community’s free, prior and informed consent as set out by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Convention No. 169.

Three human rights organizations—Project for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ProDesc), the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defence of Human Rights (Código DH) and the Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER)—came together for an observation mission in support of the indigenous communities. In their third report, they concluded that there are continuing attacks against human rights activists from the People’s Assembly of Juchiteco and the Indigenous People’s Assembly of Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defence of the Earth and the Land.

The three groups involved in the observation mission stated that the wind farm consultation process began in November of last year. Since that time, various violations have been identified and recorded. Among such violations were threatening telephone calls and messages, as well as surveillance and acts of intimidation at the homes of social activists.

images The company Eólica del Sur [Wind Farm of the South] has not provided the people of Juchitán with enough information for them to be able to evaluate the wind farm project in the region, despite the fact that indigenous groups gave 75 petitions to the technical committee (created last year by authorities from Oaxaca and federal agencies with the goal of carrying out a consultation). In addition, the company has not stuck to the dates and times of the notifications of meetings and workshops. According to the ProDesc, Código DH and PODER groups, both the company and the authorities have looked down on the value of the consultation for indigenous communities.

The groups added that the abovementioned technical committee, in which the Spanish wind farm company also takes part, has refused to provide the community with detailed information regarding the wind farm project and the carrying out of studies on its environmental, social, cultural and economic impact. This is crucial, given that the deliberation phase cannot begin with “missing, partial and limited information”.

They also highlighted the fact that the refusal to consult the Zapotec community on the project is a violation of national and international law and is disrespectful of the rights of the indigenous people. As such, on April 24th, the community presented a petition for amparo [literally protection, similar to injunction] to the Seventh District Court in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca.

The groups concluded that the authorities in Oaxaca and the federal agencies must ensure that the rights of the Zapotec community are upheld and that a better consultation model involving indigenous communities must be devised.


Translated by Stuart Taylor




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