Mareña Renovables in San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico

Indigenous communities in Oaxaca (Mexico) successfully struggling against large-scale private windmills in their territory

Over the last 15 years, Mexico has registered a fast development of large-scale wind farms in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, located in the south-western part of Oaxaca State. This region is considered to have 44,000 MW of wind power potential capacity with 33,200 MW suitable for commercial development.
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Basic Data
NameMareña Renovables in San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico
Site San Dionisio del Mar, Juchitán District, Isthmus of Tehuantepec region
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Windmills
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
Preneal planned to deploy 102 turbines through the Santa Teresa Coastal Bar and 30 additional turbines in Santa María del Mar. Together, they would comprise an ambitious project expected to reach an installed capacity of 396 MW
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Project Area (in hectares)3,643
Level of Investment (in USD)89,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population5,000
Start Date01/01/2007
End Date01/02/2015
Company Names or State EnterprisesPreneal from Spain
Mareña Renovables
Relevant government actors-Federal Government

(Secretaría de Energía)

(Comisión Federal de Electricidad)

(Federal Courts)

-State and Municipal Government

-Local courts

-San Dionisio Major
International and Financial InstitutionsInter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Environmental justice organisations and other supporters-Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio.

-Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo (UCIZONI)

-Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec

-Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en México (RNDDHM)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Specific impacts on women
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts
OtherViolation of communal property rights
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesSee Ixtepec case
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.In 2013 media reported that the Mareña Renovables project was cancelled after a local court determined that the company should make the consultation process following the 169 ILO Convention standards.

Additionally, in February 2015, the District Court in the State of Oaxaca in Mexico ruled to acquit leader Bettina Cruz Velazquez of charges made against her, after four years of a flawed judicial process.
Sources and Materials

ILO Convention 169


Secretaría de Gobernación, Comisión de Diálogo con los Pueblos Indígenas de México. " La Energía Eólica en México. Una perspectiva social sobre el valor de la tierra", México.

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Article in La Jornada (Mexico), 22 Febr. 2015 - will Mareña change its name and start the project again?
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Rojas, Rosa, No instalará Mareña Renovables parque eólico en Dionisio del Mar. La Jornada, Published 02/18/2013, Consulted 07/15/2015.
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Asamblea en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio y Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo; Las eólicas son un robo. Cómic realista sobre los parques eólicos, Oaxaca
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Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, Resolución sobre la situación legal de la defensora Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, Published 11/5/2014, Consulted 07/15/2015.
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Preneal cierra la venta de dos proyectos eólicos en Oaxaca (México), Consulted 07/15/2015.
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International Service for Human Rights (2015), Mexico: Court dismisses baseless charges against Bettina Cruz Velazquez, Published: 02/16//2015, Consulted 07/15/2015.
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Inter-American Development Bank, Eólica del Sur to build biggest wind farm in Mexico with IDB support, Published 11/24/11.
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Pueblos en Resistencia Contra el Megaproyecto Eólico en San
Dionisio del Mar, Fuera Mareña Renovables, no más imposición y despojo en el Istmo de Tehuantepec ¡Ni un parque eólico más!, Published 11/28/2012. Consulted 08/10/2015.
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Other Documents

Mujeres comparten sus luchas Source:
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Project site
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Meta Information
ContributorSofía Ávila ([email protected])
Last update19/09/2015