PBI-UK meets with the People’s Front in Defence of Land and Water resisting the PIM megaproject in Mexico

Published by Brent Patterson on

On November 15, PBI-UK tweeted: “Defenders from the @fpdtampt tell PBI UK’s @BenLeather1 how the strength of their movement coupled with international attention have limited the impact of judicial processes & trumped up charges designed to stop their land & #environmentalrights defense.”

The PBI-Mexico accompanied People’s Front in Defence of Land and Water-Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala (FPDTA-MPT), an organization composed of Indigenous Nahuatl communities, is opposed to the Morelos Integral Project (PIM).

The EU-LAT Network has explained: “The PIM consists of two combined cycle gas thermoelectric plants in Huexca, Morelos; a 160 km gas pipeline that crosses the states of Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos; two 12 km aqueducts to transport drinking water and discharge water that will be used by the thermoelectric plant, modifying the composition and flows of the Cuautla River (Morelos); and a 20 km high voltage network.”

The Network has also noted: “There are 26 human rights defenders who have been prosecuted for their work within the framework of the PIM, some of them with arrest warrants. Three people have been illegally detained for their legitimate human rights work, two of whom have spent 10 months in prison. In addition, two community media outlets have been violently shut down. In Morelos, violence against defenders of the land, territory and environment has reached the arrest and torture of a human rights defender for two consecutive days, culminating in the murder of Samir Flores Soberanes.”

Samir was an Náhuatl environmental defender, member of the People’s Front and opponent of the PIM. On February 20, 2019, he was shot in Amilcingo, Morelos and died later that day in hospital. He was 35 years old.

Writer-researcher Martha Pskowski has noted that in November 2010 “the governor [of Morelos] awarded the construction of the thermo-electric plant to the Spanish company Abengoa, with a $440 million investment.”

PODER has also explained: “The Italian company Bonatti was contracted to install the 160-kilometer-long pipeline and was responsible for carrying out the initial conversations and negotiations with inhabitants of the communities through which the work would pass to obtain the permits for passage.”

And this statement on Samir’s assassination highlighted: “The Spanish companies Elencor, Abengoa, Enagas and Italian company Bonatti are the promoters and constructors of the project. French company Saint-Gobain is one of the main beneficiaries.”

Enagas has received financing from various European banks including London, UK-based Barclays. (We note that Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank also has offices in Toronto and Calgary.)

Source: Banking on Climate Chaos.

In December 2021, the Chicago-based international law firm Baker McKenzie noted it had “advised Enagás and Elecnor on the agreement to jointly and equally sell the Mexican companies Gasoducto de Morelos and Morelos O&M to Macquarie for a total amount of US$173.8 million (154.2 million euros). Specifically, the purchase of the Mexican companies was carried out by MIP V International, a subsidiary of the Macquarie fund.”

The global law firm Cuatrecasas further noted that Gasoducto de Morelos and Morelos O&M were the “owners and operators of a 172 km gas pipeline crossing the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala”.

Macquarie, an Australian global financial services group, has offices in multiple cities around the world including London (28 Ropemaker Street), Brussels, Madrid, Munich, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings LLC has also received financing from the British bank Barclays and the Canadian bank RBC.

Source: Banking on Climate Chaos.

The People’s Front has also linked Toronto-based Alamos Gold to the megaproject (its Esperanza Gold Project mine is situated in Morelos).

In November 2020, they posted: “[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.”

In February of this year, that mine was sold to Vancouver-based Zacatecas Silver.

We continue to follow this situation with great concern.

On November 16, PBI-UK tweeted: “Today we were in Amilcingo paying tribute to #environmental defender & #Indigenous leader Samir Flores, murdered there in 2019, but who lives on through the community school in his name, and the work of the @fpdtampt.”

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