Note: This photo essay is dedicated to the memory of community defender and environmental activist Noé Vázquez, who was brutally murdered on Aug. 2, 2013 as he was preparing for his hosting of the opening ceremony for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Mexican Movement of Men and Women Affected by Dams and in the Defense of Rivers (MAPDER). Text and photos by Jonathan Treat
The blockade is simple, but its implications profound. A thick steel chain across the only bridge entering the small town of Paso de la Reina, municipality of Santiago Jamiltepec of roughly 500 residents on Oaxaca’s southwestern coast, is attended daily by men and women who prevent the entry of anyone connected with a proposed hydroelectric dam project on the Rio Verde. And for four years that strategy has been successful.