PBI-Mexico accompanied People’s Front says water commission has not granted permits for PIM river diversion

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Photo: The National Guard raided the Apatlaco blockade of the planned aqueduct/river diversion in the early hours of November 23, 2020.

Lodehoy Morelos reports that the People’s Front in Defence of Water and Land – Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala (FPDTA-MPT) says the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) has not granted the necessary permits for the construction of an aqueduct and the diversion of water from the Cuautla River to the Huexca thermoelectric plant.

This relates to the PIM (Proyecto Integral Morelos), an energy megaproject that includes a 12-kilometre long aqueduct from the river, the Huexca plant, and a 171-kilometre gas pipeline that crosses three states (Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos).

The article adds that the People’s Front pointed out at a media conference the contradiction that: “A report rendered by CONAGUA on October 5, 2020 indicated on that date, there were no permits for the construction of the aqueduct and authorization of the transfer of water” while on the other hand “the Director from the Cuenca Balsas Agency indicated that CONAGUA had already granted all the permits.”

The article furthermore reports that according to an amparo from CONAGUA that as of February 15, 2021 “no permit has been issued for the construction of the aqueduct on the federal zone of the Cuautla River.”

The People’s Front concludes that this proves the illegality of the aqueduct.

On November 23, 2020, PBI-Mexico expressed concern about the eviction carried out by the National Guard of the Apatlaco blockade/camp that had been in place to stop the construction of the aqueduct and the diversion of water from the Cuautla River.

Indigenous Náhuatl activist Samir Flores, a member of the FPDTA-MPT, was killed in February 2019 after receiving death threats for his role in protests against the PIM. Due to their security situation, PBI-Mexico began to accompany the FPDTA-MPT in early 2020.

The megaproject being built by Italian and Spanish companies (including Seville, Spain-based Abengoa) could be operational by the end of this year.

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