The indigenous Zapotec community of Juchitán de Zaragoza defends its right to land, territory and natural resources in response to the implementation of wind farm projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
The installation of these wind farms has taken place without guaranteeing the right to consultation of the indigenous and free, prior and informed consent of the communities, thus also annulling their right to decide on their own development.
ProDESC has been accompanying the indigenous Zapotec community of Juchitán since 2013, the year in which it mounted a legal and organized defense of its land and territory because various departments of the federal government granted advance licenses for the construction of the Bií Hioxo wind farm by the company Gas Natural Fenosa. Four years after this legal process began, the case is ongoing and awaiting a ruling by the Juzgado Sexto de Distrito in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, that adheres to the highest standards of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples.
FIRST INDIGENOUS CONSULTATION IN MEXICO
The Zapotec indigenous community of Juchitán was also the venue for the first indigenous consultation carried out by the Mexican government within the framework of the Energy Reform. As part of the accompaniment process, ProDESC formed part of the Observation Mission, an initiative formed with other civil society organizations in order to document the process of this initial indigenous consultation for the installation of the wind farm by the company called Eólica del Sur, formerly known as Mareña Renovable.
The Observation Mission documented various human rights violations of the indigenous Zapotec community perpetrated by the company and the Mexican authorities during the consultation process, including 30 safety incidents. Even so, the federal government ensures that this must be the applicable indigenous consultation throughout the country.
In 2015, Juchitán’s indigenous community filed two writs of “amparo” with the Sixth and Seventh District Courts (Juzgados de Distrito Sexto y Séptimo) in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca: one in order to contest the closure of the information phase on the basis of its violation of the principle of informed consultation, and the other to contest the closure of the consultation phase due to the violations of every principle applying to the right to consultation. A legal resolution of the cases, with rulings that adhere to the very highest standards of human rights, would set a precedent for other indigenous communities in Mexico.
Violated Human Rights:
- Right to land, territory and natural resources
- Right to free, prior and informed consent
- Right to free, prior and informed consultation
- Right to self-determination
- Right to a healthy environment