PBI-Mexico accompanies Indigenous consultation in the town of Santa Maria Zacatepec

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Photo by IEE Puebla.

On March 13, La Jornada Oriente reported that with a total of 526 votes from the 5,000 residents in the town of Santa Maria Zacatepec (which is part of the municipality of Juan C. Bonilla in the state of Puebla), 417 people voted to elect their authorities through the method of ballots, while 109 people voted in favour of uses and customs.

La Jornada Oriente further reports:

The locals accused that the municipal president of Juan C Bonilla, José Cinto Bernal, intervened in the electoral process not only with the carrying of people from other communities, but also exhibited that the Bonafont company gave away “trays” of water to the voters, an action that was described as an act of provocation and interference by the bottler.

Prior to the elections, they pointed out that José Cinto Bernal gave away boxes of dairy products from the Danone Group – a company to which Bonafont belongs – and carried out a smear campaign against the consultation.

Santa María Zacatepec is a town in resistance against megaprojects, such as the Morelos Gas Pipeline, and the Bonafont bottling plant, a plant that it kept taken for almost a year in demand of the exit of the company from the community, due to the overexploitation of water.

That article also notes: “Due to the level of risk that has suffered the defense of the autonomy of indigenous peoples and nature in the region, the consultation process was observed by national and international human rights organizations, such as envoys of the Office of the UN High Commissioner in Mexico, Peace Brigades International, National Human Rights Commission, Network of All Rights for All, among others.”

The full article can be read at En Zacatepec deciden que elecciones sean por plebiscitos.

Photo via En Foque.

Photo via Twitter.


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