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6 June 2011 | |

In spite of it all

Resistance against El Zapotillo gains international attention

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At the end of the meeting held between the residents of Temacapulin, Jalisco State, Mexico, and the National Water Commission, it was announced that the works at El Zapotillo will continue despite the communities’ rejection and legal objections.

The Director of the National Water Commission, Jose Luis Luege Tamargo, announced on Wednesday that the works of El Zapotillo dam will continue, and that three communities will have to be relocated: Temacapulin, Acasico and Palmarejo.

These series of meetings began in April as a result of the community mobilizations together with the Mexican Movement against Dams and for Rivers (Mapder).

On June 1st, a group of 15 people demonstrated in Guadalajara outside the governor’s house in solidarity with the communities opposed to the building of the dam.

Alfredo Menchaca Romero, member of Barranca’s Friends Group, said they are demanding Governor Emilio González to call off the project and avoid the flooding of Temacapulin, Acasico and Palmarejo.

The building of the dam on Verde River will destroy the historic heritage of the Temacapulin community, according to a report written by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) at the request of the residents of Altos de Jalisco.

The Institute reports that there are historical buildings in 70% of Temacapulin, including houses that date back from the 16th Century, and the residents have the right to keep them.

But neither the strong rejection by the community, which was recently ratified by a public consultation held in Temaca, nor the judicial decisions that have declared the works illegal for lacking the necessary permits, have been enough. These are not respected by the promoters of the works.

The community, tired of not being heard by the authorities, announced that they will resort to the international justice system to protect their right to preserve their territories and cultural heritage. They also said that they will file complaints to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and UN agencies with international allies.

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