Articles 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.
Renewable power companies are directly responsible for creating societal strains, said Juan Antonio Lopez, a coordinator at Mexico City-based human rights group ProDESC, which has led legal challenges against wind projects in Oaxaca state, including EDF’s Gunaa Sicaru. A common mode of operation is converting communal land into private property to sidestep lengthy negotiations with the indigenous communities known as ejidos, he said. The result is local residents are often surprised when they see wind towers go up on their ancestral lands, and then get little to nothing in the way of compensation.
CFE chief Manuel Bartlett dismissed the document falsification matter as a minor issue and charged that the real problem at hand was that the previous federal government granted an excessive number of permits to renewable energy companies. As a result such energy is concentrated in some parts of the national grid and causes “imbalances,” he said. Bartlett said the government’s position of halting the connection of new renewable energy projects to the national system will be maintained and railed against an arrangement that allows private and renewable energy firms to avoid paying for the use of CFE transmission lines.
A CFE official offered that the system’s failure was a result of indiscriminate granting of permits to wind and solar energy producers. In addition, said Mario Morales Vielmas, the government’s efforts to stabilize the electrical network had been thwarted by the judicial system’s rulings against a new energy policy that was intended to give the government more control over the network.
This is not an isolated example of human rights issues with large-scale solar projects, Hudlet told Climate Home: “The consultation process with indigenous communities has become more of a mandatory checklist” than a serious attempt to seek consent… “If we keep allowing companies to press ahead with such projects and only late in the process engage with communities there will be more land conflicts. Cases like this should be a warning signal to get it right.”
“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.
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.
A longstanding feud over a wind-power project has boiled over into grisly violence, after at least 15 people were bludgeoned to death with stones and cement blocks, and some bodies were partly burned. The government of the Pacific coast community of San Mateo del Mar in Oaxaca state said Monday that 13 men and two women were killed in what he described as an attack by a group of dissident townspeople on Sunday.
As Mexico is poised to plunge into its worst recession in recent-memory the leftist president is making cuts and pulling the plug on subsidy dependent intermittent power from wind and solar that has been driving up the cost of electricity for its financially challenged population.
Communities in Oaxaca say they were hoodwinked into approving wind parks that pollute their land. As another development looms, they're hoping a legal injunction puts power back in their hands.
The move has been brought in by the National Energy Control Center which claims it is necessary to safeguard energy security during the Covid-19 public health crisis. Critics say the authorities are using the pandemic as an excuse to extend a pattern of action against the renewables industry.
“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.
Mexico’s Centro Nacional de Control de Energia (Cenace), which oversees the electrical system, indefinitely suspended critical tests for new clean-energy projects as the nation grapples with the spread of the coronavirus.
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.
A lack of security in the eastern part of the state has put the installation of a wind energy park in Cañada Morelos at risk. Gilberto Marín Quintero, a businessman who is part of the project, revealed that 27 cars and pieces of equipment have been stolen to date. He trusts that the new state authority will guarantee security to investors.
MEXICO CITY — Mannti Cummins, a Corpus Christi wind developer, has spent the last 17 years building wind energy projects in the Rio Grande Valley, from Brownsville to Baffin Bay.
Peoples and organizations of the Tehuacán Valley and the Sierra Negra , in Puebla, as well as Cuicatlán, in Oaxaca, created a Regional Front to demand that governments and legislators prohibit "death projects" and reject the "farce of indigenous consultations." [Death projects refer to large renewable and other energy facilities sited on land owned and farmed by indigenous people. In this instance, Death Project refers to a wind energy facility under construction in Sierra Negra and the Valley of Tehuacán.