Wind power plants in Oaxaca, Mexico

For more than a decade wind-farm mega-projects in the Oaxaca State, dispossess native peoples from their lands.


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
NameWind power plants in Oaxaca, Mexico
CountryMexico
ProvinceOaxaca State, Isthmus of Tehuantepec region
SiteLa 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 CommoditiesLand
Electricity
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.
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Project Area (in hectares)650
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population150000
Start Date1994
Company Names or State EnterprisesGamesa Eolica from Spain
Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion (Iberdrola) from Spain
Federal Energy Commission
Iberdrola from Spain
Relevant government actorsFederal Government of Mexico, Secretaria de Energia (SENER)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLa 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
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)UNKNOWN
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationCreation 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
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Socio-economic 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
OtherOpponents 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
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseMigration/displacement
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.----
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Pronunciamiento Del Foro Regional Parque Elico del Istmo: Impactos ambiental, econmico, social y cultural de los proyectos privados de energa elica:
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ILO 169 Convention

References

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'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.

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

'MUNDO INDIGENA', Iwgia, 2007.

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

Links

'Community Organization Against Wind Farms in Oaxaca'
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Gamesa
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Iberdrola
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Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libero Comercio
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Frente Amplio
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Comision Federal de Electricidad
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Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio
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Rural Mexican Communities Protest Wind Farms, Godoy, E., 12/06/2013
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Sólo el 1% aprobó el parque eólico en Juchitán y no la mayoría como dijo Sener, acusa ONG, 19/08/2015
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Oaxaca: Protests rage in Juchitán, like in 1886, 14/09/2014
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Marchan los pueblos del Istmo el 5 de septiembre. APIIDTT, 7/09/2014
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Juchitán defiende sus tierras como hace 148 años, 05/09/2014
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Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation, 11/09/2015
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Zapotecas se amparan por violación al derecho a la consulta ante el inicio de proyecto eólico anunciado por la SENER, 20/08/2015
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Other Documents

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
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March in Juchitán municipality against the wind-power mega project February 10th, 2013, SiPaz Blog
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Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl
Last update23/11/2015
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