Unión Hidalgo, an agricultural community, is defending its right to land, territory, and natural resources against the wind power industry that established itself in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec without respecting the communal status of the land or the human rights of indigenous peoples.
Unión Hidalgo forms part of the indigenous Zapotec community of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca. In 2004, some communal land holders of this community individually signed leasing agreements with the company called Wind Power Development of Mexico (Desarrollos Eólicos de México S.A de C.V/DEMEX), an affiliate of Spanish company Renovalia Energy for the construction of Phase I and II of wind power park Piedra Larga.
These agreements were signed without respecting the communal status of the land, without information in the Zapotec language, and without information about the effects that the project would cause, such as damage to crop lands, soil pollution by the use of wind turbine oils, and the decrease of their land’s productivity, which also affects the local economy.
With ProDESC’s comprehensive accompaniment, in 2013, the organized communal land holders from Unión Hidalgo began the legal defense of their land, demanding the annulment of the leasing agreements. This legal process is still in effect in the Collegiate Court on Civil and Administrative Matters in Oaxaca since a sentence has not been issued recognizing the human rights violations committed by the company against the communal land holders, nor has the court ordered the cancellation of the leasing agreements in order to return the land to the community.
Meanwhile, Unión Hidalgo faces the latent threat of the establishment of other foreign-owned wind power parks, for which in 2017 the community had to begin a new legal process in the Seventh District Court based in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca against the issuing of permits to other companies without free, prior, and informed consultation or consent.