The Unión Hidalgo agrarian community is defending its right to land, territory and natural resources in response to the activities of the wind energy industry that is establishing a presence in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec without respecting the communal nature of the land or the indigenous people’s human rights.
Unión Hidalgo belongs to the Zapotec indigenous community of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca. In 2004, the owners of the lands in this community signed individual leasehold contracts with the company Desarrollos Eólicos de México S.A de C.V (DEMEX), a subsidiary of the Spanish firm Renovalia Energy, for the construction of the Piedra Larga Phase I and Phase II wind farm.
The signing of these contracts took place without respecting the land’s communal aspect, without providing information in the Zapotec language, and without information being provided on the effects of the project, such as damage to farmland, soil pollution caused by oils from the wind turbines and the diminished productivity of their land that also affects the local economy.
With ProDESC’s integral accompaniment, in 2013 the members of the community (“comuneros”) began to mount their legal defense of their land and demanded the annulment of the leasehold contracts. This legal process is ongoing in the civil and administrative courts at the Tribunal Colegiado in Oaxaca, because no ruling has been made that recognizes the violations of the human rights perpetrated by the company against the comuneros, nor has it ordered the annulment of the contracts to return the land to the community.
Meanwhile, the threat of the installation in Unión Hidalgo of other wind farms controlled by foreign capital remains imminent, requiring the community to initiate a new legal process at the Seventh District Court (Juzgado Séptimo de Distrito) in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca in 2017, challenging the granting of licenses for other companies without consultation or free, prior and informed consent.
Violated Human Rights:
- Right to land, territory and natural resources
- Right to free, prior and informed consultation
- Right to self-determination
- Right to a healthy environment