PBI-Mexico expresses support for Totonac communities defending the Ajajalpan River

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On September 8, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted, “PBI expresses its support for the Totonac communities that defend the Ajajalpan River.”

PBI-Mexico adds, “We recognize their legitimate work in defence of their territory against the construction of the hydroelectric project for the Walmart Mexico company.”

Their post shares this 14-minute video produced by Fundación Luciérnaga and Alba Films for Peace Brigades International.

Responsible Europe has explained that construction on the Puebla 1 hydroelectric plant on the Ajajalpan River began in February 2016. That article further explains that Deselec 1, a subsidiary of Comexhidro, is in charge of the hydroelectric project.

In July 2018, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre posted this article which notes, “Although the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) approved the Puebla 1 Presa Zoquiapa hydroelectric project in Tlapacoya, there was no prior consultation with indigenous peoples but simulations, said Violeta Valdez, a member of the Antonio Human Rights Center Esteban.”

That article adds, “Semarnat approved this July the Puebla 1 Presa Zoquiapa hydroelectric project, which would provide the Wal-Mart company and other multinationals with electric power, after the public consultation that took place last year.”

On July 30 of this year, LAdobe.com.mx reported, “The amparo trial filed by three indigenous communities in the municipalities of San Felipe Tepatlán and Ahuacatlán against the Puebla 1 hydroelectric project in 2016 is about to receive a sentence.”

“After more than 3 years of legal struggle the constitutional hearing was held on June 11, 2019, and now the defenders of the territory expect to know the resolution in no more than 90 business days, about whether the judge approves or rejects the dam…”

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which was adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007, upholds the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

Article 32 of UNDRIP highlights, “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.”

The UN has also recognized that, “The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.”

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