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Wind power plants in Oaxaca, Mexico


Description:

The Mexican Government has been working on the construction of a mega structure generating wind power in the State of Oaxaca since 1994. Indigenous peasants resident in the area claim that the 3,000 concrete pillars envisaged by the project have caused forced displacement of numerous families, have destroyed the ecosystem in one of the most important areas for migratory birds and will contaminate the surrounding water.

The projects Piedra Larga I and II, owned by DEMEX, are being denounced by Union Hidalgo since they were deployed without the consultation of the native people living in the area and without prior studies on the environmental and urban impacts. They are situated very close to the inhabited areas, having disastrous consequences on the agricultural production of the communities.

On September 5th 2014 a march was organized in Juchitán to which smaller towns of the Tehuantepec isthmus joined as well, defending the land against the multinationals’ appropriation. A year later, in September 2015 the indigenous community Zapoteca reported irregularities and human rights violations in the consultation process which asserts communities’ agreement for new wind-power plants in Juchitán and El Espinal, which is endorsed by the Energy Secretary SENER, by the Oaxaca State and by the local government of Juchitán.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Wind power plants in Oaxaca, Mexico
Country:Mexico
State or province:Oaxaca State, Isthmus of Tehuantepec region
Location of conflict:La Venta, Juchitan municipality
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Windmills
Specific commodities:Electricity
Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The first wind project, La Venta I, began operating in 1994, and was followed two years ago by La Venta II, inaugurated in 2007: it has 98 aero-generators with a total capacity of 83.3 MW. The plant is built by the Spanish multinational companies Iberdrola and Gamesa and managed by the CFE. In 2007 the Government of Felipe Calderon announced open bidding for La Venta III, and that other wind-energy projects will follow, e.g. the Oaxaca and La Ventosa projects. By 2007, 98 aero-generators had been installed covering an area of 650 hectares.

The Piedra Larga 1 is a 90 MW wind-farm, comprising 145 wind turbines and in operation since October 2012. Still under construction, Piedra Larga 2's objective is to achieve 138 MW capacity. The future considered mega- project in Juchitán is expected to generate 396 MG.

Project area:650
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:150000
Start of the conflict:1994
Company names or state enterprises:Gamesa Eolica from Spain
Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion (Iberdrola) from Spain
Federal Energy Commission
Iberdrola from Spain
Relevant government actors:Federal Government of Mexico, Secretaria de Energia (SENER)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:La Venta Solidarity Group, Zapotec Community of Union Hidalgo, Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), Isthmus Peoples Front in Defence of Land and Territory, Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Isthmus Area (UCIZONI), Frente Amplio Progresista (FAP), Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project: ProDESC

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityUnknown
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsOpponents to the wind park argue that these lands are in fact suitable for cultivation and that, until now, the project has not bought any economic benefits; land rental rates are very low and do not generate much income, and the energy supply has not improved, considering many houses do not have electricity.

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:----

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Pronunciamiento Del Foro Regional Parque Elico del Istmo: Impactos ambiental, econmico, social y cultural de los proyectos privados de energa elica:
http://www.ecoportal.net/content/view/full/53606

ILO 169 Convention

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

http://www.noticiasnet.mx/portal/

'Marco global de referencia para la accin jurdica en la defensa del medio ambiente. Los derechos humanos contra las represas y otros proyectos neoliberales', CIEPAC, 2005.

Gabe, Mugarik, 'Pueblos indigenas, nuestra vision del desarrollo', Icaria, 1995.

'MUNDO INDIGENA', Iwgia, 2007.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/05/10/index.php?section=politicaandarticle=016n2pol

M. Durand, 'La construccion de la democracia en Mexico. Movimientos sociales y ciudadania', Siglo XXI, 1994.

'Asuntos Indgenas 4/2004', Derechos Territoriales, Iwgia, 2004.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Gamesa
http://www.gamesacorp.com/es/

'Community Organization Against Wind Farms in Oaxaca'
http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/9170

Iberdrola
http://www.iberdrolaingenieria.com/ibding/home.do

Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libero Comercio
http://www.rmalc.org.mx/index.shtml

Frente Amplio
http://www.frenteamplio.org/

Comision Federal de Electricidad
http://www.cfe.gob.mx/Paginas/Home.aspx

Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio
http://www.rmalc.org/

Rural Mexican Communities Protest Wind Farms, Godoy, E., 12/06/2013
http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/06/rural-mexican-communities-protest-wind-farms/

Sólo el 1% aprobó el parque eólico en Juchitán y no la mayoría como dijo Sener, acusa ONG, 19/08/2015
http://www.sinembargo.mx/19-08-2015/1454522

Oaxaca: Protests rage in Juchitán, like in 1886, 14/09/2014
https://sipazen.wordpress.com/tag/union-hidalgo/

Marchan los pueblos del Istmo el 5 de septiembre. APIIDTT, 7/09/2014
https://tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/marchan-los-pueblos-del-istmo-el-5-de-septiembre-apiidtt/

Juchitán defiende sus tierras como hace 148 años, 05/09/2014
http://www.codigodh.org/2014/09/05/juchitan-defiende-sus-tierras-como-hace-148-anos/

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation, 11/09/2015
https://sipazen.wordpress.com/tag/appj/

Zapotecas se amparan por violación al derecho a la consulta ante el inicio de proyecto eólico anunciado por la SENER, 20/08/2015
http://www.prodesc.org.mx/?p=3410

Other documents

March in Juchitán municipality against the wind-power mega project February 10th, 2013, SiPaz Blog
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Oaxara_2013_protest.jpg

People's March on September 5th 2014 General Assembly of the People from "San Dionisio del mar" resisting to the "renewable" wind-power project, tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/oaxaca_2014.jpg

Meta information

Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update23/11/2015

Images

 

March in Juchitán municipality against the wind-power mega project

February 10th, 2013, SiPaz Blog

People's March on September 5th 2014

General Assembly of the People from "San Dionisio del mar" resisting to the "renewable" wind-power project, tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com