“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.
“The ones you see over there,”
answered his master.
“Look, your grace,” Sancho said,
“those things we see over there aren’t giants. They’re windmills.”
“It’s plain to see,” Don Quijote replied,
“that you know nothing about adventures: They’re giants,
and if you’re afraid, get out of my way and start praying
while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”
— Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
They came offering development and jobs in exchange for our lands, our water, our wind, our territory; the Mexican State, in its lust to attract international finance capital, volunteers to be a pawn of capital that clears the way for them with the help of its institutions and allows capital to take over our territory without asking us, without consulting with us, and without giving us any information at all about how such investments affect our lives, which have been constructed down through many millenniums in this geographic space.
Contrary to their offer, all we see as the project unfolds is the destruction of our lands, deception, pretenses, abuses, threats, intimidation, and confrontations –brother against brother, people against people. All of this underscores our conviction that the Mega Wind Energy Project of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a project by and for national and transnational capital that dispossesses us of our biocultural patrimony for the sole benefit of the companies that produce electrical energy with our wind on our land. These companies include Iberdrola, Unión Fenosa, Enel, Endesa, Preneal, Gamesa, Acciona, Renovalia, Demex, Eléctrica de Francia, and Peñoles.
Likewise, we denounce the fact that this electrical energy will be supplied to businesses like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Soriana, Wall-Mart, Bimbo, Cervecería Moctezuma, and Cemex, while the peoples of the Isthmus continue to foot the bill. It not only costs us a tremendous amount of money, but our freedom as well, given that we have comrades in jail, others with arrest warrants out for them, and others who are under investigation, not to mention that we’re faced with a policy of intimidation and harassment against our movement on the part of the government, private business and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
In violation of our rights to be consulted and to freely give our informed consent, lies and deception have been used to lease social property lands for 60 years or for even longer, undetermined periods in exchange for false promises of development. A clear example is seen in the Zapotec community of Unión Hidalgo, where Demex (an affiliate of the Spanish company Renovalia), intends to build a wind energy park to supply the transnational business Bimbo. Here, Spanish businessmen who claim that our lands belong to them have done serious, large-scale damage to the area even as they try to intimidate those of us who have decided to defend the land by initiating criminal proceedings against us for land takeovers, with the support and complacence of Gabino Cué Monteagudo’s government of change.
And so the Megaproject imposed on the peoples of the Isthmus at La Venta- La Ventosa, Santo Domingo Ingenio, La Mata, San Francisco del Mar, Santa María del Mar, San Mateo del Mar, San Blas Atempa, Juchitán and Unión Hidalgo, reveals once more the true face of plunder under the guise of leases, easements and permanent access rights. In view of this ongoing threat, the Assembly of the Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Land and Territory calls on all sister organizations, peoples, communities, and the civil society to attend:
The 2nd Gathering, Our Voices of Struggle and Resistance, which will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2011, at 10 am, in the community of Unión Hidalgo, Oaxaca, on Calle Guadalupe Victoria 63, at the corner of Amado Nervo.
The following issues will be addressed:
1.- The Mega Wind Energy Project: its meaning, dynamics, and actors
2.- Impacts and Effects of the Project: Development? Jobs? Investment? For whom?
3.- The civil contract: The new face of territorial plunder
4. Interchange of experiences: Our voices of struggle and resistance.
Assembly of the Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Land and Territory
San Blas Atempa Zapotec Indigenous Citizens’ Council
Totopo Community Radio
Xadani Intercultural Bilingual Indigenous Community Radio
June 14th Popular Teachers’ Collective
Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom
Peoples of Oaxaca in Resistance Coordinating Group
La Venta Solidarity Group
NO PROJECTS THAT DISPOSSESS US OF OUR TERRITORY!
NO TRANSNATIONAL WIND ENERGY PROJECT!
COMPANIES OUT OF OUR TERRITORY!
NO HIGH ELECTRICITY RATES!
THE LAND IS NOT FOR LEASE OR FOR SALE!
WE LOVE IT AND WILL DEFEND IT!
This post is also available in: Spanish