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Corporate Wind Farms in Ixtepec vs community's inititiative, Oaxaca, Mexico

Ixtepec community take position against private wind farms and propose their own wind farm cooperative. They denounce government favoring big companies and claim energy sovereignty for 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. As of the beginning of 2015, the Wind Corridor in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec comprises more than 15 private wind power projects reaching an accumulated installed capacity of 2,077.5 MW. These wind farms are located in remote and marginalized territories of indigenous groups in Oaxaca (Zapotecos and Huaves), while projects are destined to supply electricity for the increasing demand of national consumption areas and transnational production clusters. Opposition towards wind farms in the Isthmus started in 1994 and has gained force as private projects have spread out over the territory. In this context, local organizations expanded through several political instances with the contribution of different external actors. Groups have claimed that government and private companies have not made formal consultation processes to indigenous communities affected by windmills. They have also complained against illegal land leasing contracts and environmental impacts on construction and operation phases. Additionally, indigenous communities have made strongly complained against the privatization and dispossession processes over their lands and local resources.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Corporate Wind Farms in Ixtepec vs community's inititiative, Oaxaca, Mexico
State or province:Oaxaca
Location of conflict:Ixtepec municipality, Isthmus of Tehuantepec region
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Large-scale wind energy plants
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The community wind farm was projected to comprise 44 wind turbines with a 1000 MW installed capacity, located in an agricultural area of about 1,000 ha. This territory is partly occupied by farming plots, although most of the owners have their homes in other parts of Ixtepec.

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Project area:1,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:08/01/2009
Company names or state enterprises:ENEL GREEN POWER (ENEL) from Italy
Relevant government actors:Federal Electricity Commission (Comisión Federal de Electricidad/CFE)
Federal House of Congress
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Assembly in Defense of the Land and Territory of the Indigenous People in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Yansa Group (Foundation associated with the Ixtepec community to develop the cooperative)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Referendum other local consultations
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Land dispossession
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Project temporarily suspended
Proposal and development of alternatives:The community wind farm represents an alternative to the privately owned and profit-led wind farms that are currently expanding in the Ishtmus region.
The proposal is based on an emerging demand of energy sovereignty of the local population.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Controversy remains open by the middle of 2015.
While international media announces that Enel Green Power has already been awarded to develop the "Sureste‟ project in this location, the Ixtepec community and Yansa keep pushing the issue to develop the community wind farm.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Gaceta Parlamentaria, Con punto de acuerdo, por el que se exhorta a la CFE a detener las licitaciones sobre contratos de parques eólicos en curso y las programadas para el futuro próximo, Número 3627-III, México, 2012.

Juárez Hernández Sergio & León Gabriel (2014), Energía Eólica en el Itsmo de Tehuantepec: desarrollo, actores y oposición social, Problemas del Desarrollo, Volumen 178, Número 45, p.p. 139-162.
[click to view]

Oceransky Sergio (2010), Fighting the Enclosure of Wind: Indigenous Resistance to the Privitization of Wind Resources in Southern Mexico, In: Abramsky Kolya (Ed), Sparking a worldwide energy revolution social struggles in the transition to a post-petrol world, CA: AK Press, Oakland, p.p. 505–522.

Hoffmann Julia (2012), The Social Power of Wind: The Role of Participation and Social Entrepreneurship in Overcoming Barriers for Community Wind Farm Development. Lessons from the Ixtepec Community Wind Farm Project in Mexico, Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science, No 2012:024, Lund University International Master‟s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science.

Vargas Martín, Intenta CFE evitar consulta indígena para eólicos en Ixtepec, El Imparcial, Published 08/03/2015, Consulted 08/14/2015.
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Méndez, Enrique and Garduño, Roberto, Proponen plan eólico alterno para Oaxaca, La Jornada, Published: 10/19/2012. Consulted: 06/23/2015.
[click to view]

Reve, Nuevo parque eólico de Enel Green Power, REVE. Revista Eólica y del Vehículo Eléctrico, Published 07/19/2015, Consulted 08/14/2015.
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Yansa Group
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El Economista - Enel Green Power conecta parque eólico en Oaxaca
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APIIDTT (2009b) Asamblea en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio de Juchitán, Foro Comunidades Indígenas, Autodeterminación y Soberanía Energética, Published: 08/ 15/ 2009. Consulted: 07/02/2015.
[click to view]

Martín Vargas, Proyecto del Parque Eólico Comunitario en Ixtepec. Tribuna informativa, Published: 10/2012, Consulted: 06/23/2015.
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Notimex; Diputados pedirán informe a CFE sobre licitación de parques eólicos, Sin embargo, Published: 10/18/2012. Consulted: 07/26/2015.
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Manzo, Diana, Acusan comuneros a CFE de vender al Istmo a transnacionales; proponen eólica comunitaria, Página3, Published: 10/15/2012, Consulted: 06/23/2015.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Sofía Avila-Calero
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2108
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