PBI-Mexico expresses concern about the National Guard eviction of the Apatlaco blockade in defence of the Cuautla River

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: The National Guard raid of the Apatlaco camp at 3 am this morning.

On November 23, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted: “We express concern about the eviction by officers (elementos) of the National Guard (GN Mexico) of the Apatlaco blockade/camp (planton) which they had maintained for 4 years in opposition to the Huexca thermoelectric plant and the PIM.”

The PIM refers to the Morelos Integral Project (Proyecto Integral Morelos), an energy megaproject that includes a gas and steam generating plant, a gas pipeline that crosses three states, and an aqueduct.

The Frente De Pueblos Morelos Puebla Tlaxcala (FPDTA-MPT) explains that the camp had been in place on both sides of the Cuautla River to stop the water from the river being diverted into the aqueduct.

El Financiero reports: “Around 3:00 a.m., the National Guard, with the support of elements of the State Security Commission (CES), arrived with heavy machinery to begin removing the tarps, tents and other objects that the residents placed.”

That article adds: “On this site, located on the banks of the Cuautla River, were the tents in which there were guards to prevent the connection of the pipeline to bring water to the thermoelectric plant, which would be used to cool the turbines.”

Termometro en linea further reports: “After evicting them at least two machines entered to continue with the works of the aqueduct through which they intend to take the water from this river and from the sewage treatment plant to cool the turbines of the Huexca thermoelectric plant [which could] start operating as of next December.”

That article adds: “The peasants maintain that the water from the Cuautla River [is needed] for their crops of grains, fruits and vegetables to feed themselves.”

The Frente De Pueblos also notes: “[Mexican President] Lopez Obrador betrays the peasant and the promise of change of his government, to favor transnational corporations Saint Gobain, Nissan, Burlington, Continental, Electnor, Enagas, Northeast Gas, corporations Canadian miners like Alamos Gold, among others.”

Pulso has also reported: “The [FPDTA-MPT] has previously indicated that the federal government plans to conclude this project in December despite the fact that most of the amparos [a procedural writ relating to the protection of constitutional rights] and suspensions remain open due to the lack of indigenous consultation, protection to the water of the ejidos of Ayala (1180/2019 and 162/2020), the gas pipeline on the lands of the ejido of Amilcingo (1185/2019) and against the discharge of pollutants into the Cuautla river that the Huexca community claims (1823/2014).”

Ejidos refer to communally held plots of farmland granted to poor often Indigenous farmers in the 1920s following the Mexican Revolution.

Following the eviction of the planton, PBI-Mexico affirmed: “We accompany the Frente De Pueblos Morelos Puebla Tlaxcala in their fight for the right to free and informed consultation of communities. We are closely monitoring the situation and keeping various national and international authorities informed.”

Photo: Indigenous Náhuatl activist Samir Flores, a member of the Front of Peoples in Defence of Land and Water for the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala, was killed in February 2019 after receiving death threats for his role in protests against the PIM.

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