Last update:

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. The territory comprises traditional lands of the Binnizá and Ikjoots groups (Zapotecos and Huaves in Spanish), most of them organized through communal land regimes and customary law. Indigenous communities in the area heavily depend on traditional livelihoods rooted to the territory, including fishing and farming activities. The Isthmus is also part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and one of the largest migratory bird routes, making it a sensitive and controversial area for windmill siting. 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 MW. Most of these projects are intended to supply electricity to private companies, while the rest is destined to sell electricity for public distribution in urbanized areas of the country. 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. Such groups claim that government and private companies have not made formal consultation processes to indigenous communities affected by windmills. They have also sued over illegal land leasing contracts and environmental impacts on construction and operation phases. Additionally, indigenous communities have made strong complaints against the privatization and dispossession processes over their lands and local resources.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mareña Renovables in San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico
State or province:Oaxaca
Location of conflict: 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:Large-scale wind energy plants
Land acquisition conflicts
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Electricity
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

See more
Project area:3,643
Level of Investment for the conflictive project89,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:5,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2007
End of the conflict:01/02/2015
Company names or state enterprises:Preneal 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 Finance InstitutionsInter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-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)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
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-economical 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
Other socio-economic impactsViolation of communal property rights
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project cancelled
Proposal and development of alternatives:See Ixtepec case
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

ILO Convention 169

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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.

[click to view]

International Service for Human Rights (2015), Mexico: Court dismisses baseless charges against Bettina Cruz Velazquez, Published: 02/16//2015, Consulted 07/15/2015.
[click to view]

Inter-American Development Bank, Eólica del Sur to build biggest wind farm in Mexico with IDB support, Published 11/24/11.
[click to view]

Article in La Jornada (Mexico), 22 Febr. 2015 - will Mareña change its name and start the project again?
[click to view]

Rojas, Rosa, No instalará Mareña Renovables parque eólico en Dionisio del Mar. La Jornada, Published 02/18/2013, Consulted 07/15/2015.
[click to view]

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
[click to view]

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.
[click to view]

Preneal cierra la venta de dos proyectos eólicos en Oaxaca (México), Consulted 07/15/2015.
[click to view]

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.
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2039
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.