On the 4th of December in the community of Jamiltepec, thousands of people from at least 22 communities along the Oaxacan Coast, plus teachers from the Pinotepa sector of the Teacher´s Union (Section 22) participated in a march in order to declare their opposition to the imposition of the “Paso de la Reina Multiple Use Hydraulic and Reservoir Project”.
Dozens of signs expressed total rejection of the megaproject. The march was lead by representatives from each community. Women wore white dresses painted with black slogans that denounced the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and the bad government. Hundreds of posters, of all sizes, were carried by men, women, elderly, and children. Each one declared his/her opposition to the project and commitment to defend mother earth and the water, and demanded respect for the people and their communities in a different way.
The march was lead by the Paso de la Reina community, the most affected community since they, along with a few others, will be forced to leave in order to build the damn in their territory along the Rio Verde. “The Dam is not being built, The Dam will not be built, The people who are affected by it will not allow it!”. The intense coastal sun seemed to make the shouts of the marchers vibrate as they walked. Behind Paso de la Reina community, stood the Tataltepec de Valdés community, followed by Plan del Aire, Santa Cruz Zenzontepec, Santiago Ixtayutla, Villa de Tutupec de Melchor Ocampo, Jamiltepec, y Tetepec. The teachers from the teacher´s union brought up the rear of the march.
The marchers stopped in front of the Offices of the Federal Electricity Commission, located on Luis Donaldo Colosio Avenue in Jamiltepec. The people inside the office appeared nervous, and one person, who did not identify himself as a worker, began to take photos of the marchers. The communities proceeded to block access to the office with signs and surrounded the building shouting slogans in resistance.
In the protest, the Council of the People in Defense of the Rio Verde (COPUDEVER), called on the marchers to stay firm in their struggle for the earth, water, and their lands and pointed out that that majority of the communities are strongly rejecting the Dam. The communities also began to create alliances that strengthen their struggles against megaprojects since it is not only along the coast that the bad government and the interests of transnational corporations want to impose the destruction of communities and their ancestries.
This December 4th, you could feel the resistance and firmness that dozens of communities along the coast are using to refuse and demand one more time: NO DAM!!
This post is also available in: Spanish