PBI-Mexico observes consultation on the Morelos gas pipeline in Puebla, highlights UNDRIP requirement for consent

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo by the People’s Front in Defence of the Land and Water.

On June 21, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico tweeted: “We observed the consultation in San Isidro Huilotepec promoted by @SENER_mx [Secretary of Energy] on the Morelos gas pipeline. The UN declaration on Indigenous peoples establishes that they must be consulted and give their consent.”

PBI-Mexico also posted on Facebook: “On Sunday, June 20, PBI accompanied the Frente De Pueblos Morelos Puebla Tlaxcala to a consultation conducted in the community of San Isidro Huilotepec, Atlixco municipality, Puebla. This consultation was given in the context of the construction of a pipeline in its territory, part of the Comprehensive Morelos Project. From PBI, we call on the Mexican authorities to ensure the right of indigenous communities to free, prior, informed, culturally appropriate and in good faith consultation.”

The People’s Front in Defence of the Land and Water of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala (FPDTA-MPT) tweeted: “We appreciate the accompaniment of @PBI_Mexico.”

No consent for the Morelos gas pipeline

La Jornada de Oriente provides the further context that: “Residents of the community of San Isidro Huilotepec, located in the municipality of Atlixco, reported that the Federal Energy Secretariat (Sener) is trying to get the town up early with the holding of a citizen consultation for this Sunday [June 20] on the Morelos gas pipeline, without prior information on the scope of the so-called ‘death project’.”

“Huilotepec and Santa María Cosamaloapan are the only two indigenous peoples in the state of Puebla that keep the operation of the pipeline slowed down, after winning the amparo with file number 402/2015.”

That article adds: “The lawsuit of guarantees that the people of Hilotepec won was due to the fact that two years ago the authority carried out a popular consultation by force to the inhabitants, with the presence of the National Guard and without carrying out the protocol of informing the inhabitants beforehand.”

Morelos Integral Project (PIM)

The PIM megaproject consists of the 171-kilometre gas pipeline across the states of Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos; a gas-fuelled thermoelectric plant in the town of Huexca, Morelos; and a 12-kilometre aqueduct to divert water from the Cuautla River near Huexca to cool the turbines at the thermoelectric plant.

The FPDTA-MPT has previously stated: “[President] Lopez Obrador’s [support for the PIM] betrays the peasant and the promise of change of his government, to favour transnational corporations [including] Canadian miners like Alamos Gold.”

Toronto-based Alamos Gold has reactivated work on their Esperanza open-pit gold mine near the community of Tetlama (60 kilometres west of Huexca). Their statement suggests that this mine could draw energy from the plant.

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 this megaproject.

PBI-Mexico began to accompany the FPDTA-MPT in 2020.

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