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15 August 2012 | | | |

Constitutional Path

Mexico: municipality resorts to Supreme Court to stop El Zapotillo dam

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Aiming to halt El Zapotillo dam works and suspend them forever, Cañadas de Obregon municipality in Jalisco State, Mexico, which comprises the towns of Temacapulin, Acasijo and Palmarejo which will disappear if the works continue, came to the Supreme Court of the Country, which accepted to consider the case.

The “constitutional controversy” appeal was filed against the actions of former president Felipe Calderon, of the Head of the Environment and Natural Resources Secretary (Semarnat), Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada; the Head of the National Water Commission (Conagua), Jose Luis Luege; and Jalisco Governor, Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, for authorizing the building of El Zapotillo Dam without requesting a license from the municipality.

“El Zapotillo” is a freshwater appropriation work that has become a symbol of the resistance against dams in Jalisco and Guanajuato States. Its building is filled with irregularities since the project was modified numerous times, raising the height of the concrete wall and avoiding the corresponding environmental permits.

Temacapulin community has been settled in that territory for over seven centuries and is the home of great heritage. Its population, and the organization "missing children", have many times expressed their rejection to the building of the dam which would flood the entire town.

The 3rd International Meeting of People Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers took place in October, 2010, where tens of delegates from all the continents expressed that the case of the Temacapulin inhabitants represented the struggles taking place globally against dam megaprojects.

On August 14th, Temacapulin community announced a series of traditional activities that have become mobilizations against the dam: the fifth edition of "Carrera de los Remedios" and the third edition of the Feria del Chile del Árbol, which is unique in Mexico. In addition, they participate in the organization Salvemos Temaca.

About the constitutional “controversy” appeal, lawyer Claudia Gomez said to Real World Radio in an interview by Monica Montalvo that she aims to expose the “invasion of competences” that take place around “El Zapotillo” case.

“We expect they’ll decree the suspension, and once the controversy is grounded, the works will be definitely halted”, said lawyer Claudia Gomez who added that the community has filed many appeals, but neither the company nor the state government have heard them.

“This case is not over, it is a current issue that will be inherited by the next administration. The people of Temaca continues to struggle, we’ll have a statement by the Permanent Peoples Tribunal and other actions in the framework of the "integral defense"”, said Claudia.

(CC) 2012 Real World Radio


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