Articles filed under Legal from Mexico
Under the ruling earlier this month, The First Collegiate Court of Administrative and Civil Matters of the Thirteenth Circuit, based in Oaxaca, voted unanimously to grant an injunction requested by the Juchitan de Zaragoza Farming Community blocking the development of energy projects on ancestral lands. ...“The Mexican State has not acted in any way in good faith, since there are already 29 wind farms in the region, none of them having respected the rights of self-determination and autonomy of indigenous peoples,” the body stated.
The Gunaa Sicarú wind project of the multinational company Électricité de France (EDF) on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, was stopped. A judge granted an amparo to the Agrarian Community of Juchitán, with this the company cannot continue with the project in the territory while the trial is carried out.
Bettina Cruz , a member of the APIIDTT, said at a press conference that the community filed the amparo against the wind farm, which seeks to produce 252 MW and obtained its permits in 2016. However, the company needs the authorization of the true owners of the the lands that are the commoners. “For that reason we decided to file an injunction with the community members.
Indigenous organizations fear greater violence against land defenders after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ordered the Federal Congress to issue a law that regulates the right to prior, free and informed consultation on state or private projects that invade their lands. For more than a decade, the Legislature avoided carrying out an indigenous consultation law despite the fact that Mexico promised to do so and sign Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization. Thus, without a regulation to the consultation, 506 projects were given the green light that would impact 63 ethnic groups.
As a result of Mexico’s failure to implement and enforce the community’s right to free, prior and informed consent and the company’s failure to fulfil its duty of vigilance obligation to prevent violations of this right, the community has suffered internal division, escalating into violent conflict...In Mexico, the actions of EDF’s subsidiaries interfered with a meaningful free, prior and informed consultation...have severely impeded the realization of this right, and generated the escalation of violence in the community.
“The French duty of vigilance law obliges EDF to examine whether its business operations risk violating human rights. If so, it must take measures to mitigate these risks. EDF is moving forward with the Gunaa Sicarú project even though it is resulting in serious human rights violations. The company must comply with France’s mandatory human rights due diligence law. In case it cannot mitigate those risks, the project should be cancelled ,” said Cannelle Lavite, legal advisor at ECCHR.
“The intermittent generation from wind and PV plants affects the reliability of the national electricity system, [impacting] the sufficiency, quality and continuity of power supply,” reads CENACE’s document, adding that these technologies “do not contribute” to system regulation or grid inertia.
Critics of the rule change worry that granting older projects the credits -- certificates known as CELs -- will reduce their value and undermine clean energy investment. While the appeals court decision technically only guarantees the value of the credits for the company that requested the initial injunction, Zuma Energia subsidiary Santa Maria 1, lower courts are likely to follow suit.
In this sense, they have pointed out that the permits for the installation of the Renewable Energy Industrial Wind Park (PIER IV) were made through agreements with the state and municipal governments, without consulting or previously informing the population. The lack of consultation has created a "social conflict." They have also claimed that the Environmental Impact Manifestation (MIA), approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources ( Semarnat ), was carried out without principles of legality.
The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) denied an injunction to indigenous people of the Zapotec people of Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, regarding the fact that a prior consultation was not carried out to carry out a project on the installation of a wind farm.
Late last month, Sedena sought to initiate legal action against Tradeco to secure 595 million pesos (US $30.9 million) in compensation for failing to comply with the contract it signed and a 374-million-peso (US $19.4-million) payment because no energy was produced at the base between March 2014, when the project was supposed to be completed, and June 2018.
Judges from Mexico’s highest court unanimously decided to grant an amparo, or injunction, to members of the Zapotec community in Juchitán on the grounds that they hadn’t been consulted or given their permission or authorization for the project to go ahead on their land.
Members of the indigenous community of Juchitán, Oaxaca, where there are already 15 wind farms, filed a claim for protection in 2015 because the Energy Regulatory Commission violated their right to free, prior and informed consultation in accordance with the international framework. Although in June 2016 the head of the Seventh District Court in Salinas Cruz, Oaxaca, denied it, this day the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation appealed the case. This judicial action "may set important criteria in future similar cases," stated civil organizations that defend human rights.
Renewable energy from south of the border is beginning to make a big impact on the American side. Looming over the dry desert scrub, as high as a 25-story building, the giant turbines of the Energía Sierra Juárez wind farm punctuate the horizon just south of the California border, an otherworldly array of white tubular towers each topped with three, 12-ton blades.
The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) has detailed inconsistencies in the approval of the Eólica del Sur project, claiming that government officials granted permits and licenses before the consultation stage was over, violating the indigenous communities’ rights to an informed process.
“All these agencies and companies are in lockstep on this green energy rush, whether it’s actually beneficial to us or not,” said Donna Tisdale, a resident of Boulevard in East San Diego County. Tisdale is leading the lawsuit against Energía Sierra Juárez, which also names the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Among other things, the lawsuit claims the Department of Energy issued a Presidential Permit without considering environmental impacts in Mexico or alternative clean energy projects, as required by law.