Members of the Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositoras a la Presa La Parota (CECOP) in the rural area of Acapulco, Guerrero (Mexico) reported that there are about 80 arrest warrants against villagers who reject this project located in the Rio Papagayo basin, which they have resisted since 2003 until the indefinite suspension of the project[i].
The La Parota dam was planned by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) since 1976 for the generation of energy in the community -regardless of the environmental and territorial measures that involved its construction. But this project was not brought to reality until it was announced as one of the failed projects of Vicente Fox’s 2000-2006 term[ii]; this led to a conflict between the State and the comuneros, ejidatarios, settlers and social organizations of the directly affected municipalities that supply the water of the Papagayo River, especially the seven municipalities of Chilpancingo, Mochitlán, Quechultenango, Acapulco, San Marcos, Juan R Escudero and Tecoanapa.
La Parota megaproject does not seek the progress of the community, but rather seeks control of the water of the Papagayo River, as Felipe Flores Fernández said: […] we discovered that [the dam] was going to work at 19% [of its capacity] Four hours a day. We realized that the one who has the concession of that work, will be the owner of the water. And then the water will sell it to us if they want, and if they do not want, we’re going to be thirsty. We would be left with ecological damages and the displacement of thousands of peasants[iii].
Some of the damages that have been evidenced for the zone of construction of the dam estimate the affectation to 24 localities with a total population of 3,048 inhabitants; of these 39 areas of collective ownership and one of the private property would flood or be affected. Affected organizations in the area estimate that about 25 thousand people would be displaced by the flooding of their lands. The report by the Relatores Especiales de Vivienda Adecuada y de los Derechos y Libertades de los Pueblos Indígenas has identified flood risky populations that were not included in environmental studies. The deviation of the river would affect approximately 70 thousand people as they would be deprived of access to water for irrigation of their crops or for fishing. Also 67 km of roads that serve to the communication between the towns of the zone would disappear[iv].
In 2005, the CFE promoted the holding of agrarian assemblies in order to obtain the consent to initiate the expropriation process and to conclude the previous occupation agreement with ejido commissaries and / or communal property of the respective agrarian nuclei. The CFE manipulated the assemblies, resorting to irregularities to obtain the acquiescence, but before the legal actions and popular agitation of the CECOP, the construction of the dam was stopped. The signs of solidarity were enormous and came from inside and outside the republic, even at the meeting between the CECOP and the EZLN then Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos (now “Galeano”) stated that La Parota “could only be made with a war in southeastern Mexico” as this emblematic river runs through much of southeastern Mexico, making the dam a threat to all these territories[v].
But during this process, the political class dismissed the demand of the ejidatarios, who received offenses of all kinds and were subjected to a campaign of discredit that borders on the ridiculous, especially – and with greater hatred and misrepresentation of information – against the partner Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, a great referent of this fight and who was imprisoned arbitrarily in 2004 and 2014. Today, these defamations continue by social networks accusing the comrades of the CECOP of “sicarios”, “guerrilleros” and “leftists” who have committed ‘violent acts’ in the service of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the left-wing parties of the capital, such as MORENA, Movimiento Ciudadano, etc., which is blatantly false, thus proving that dominant ideology and conservative traditions have managed to pigeonhole the social and autonomous struggles in a single bucket along with the political parties of the left, suggesting that the state itself infiltrates and sponsors these groups to destabilize the defense of the territory and the multiple causes for which the people Mexican raises the voice. The controversial autonomous group “Desplazados de Acapulco”, which manages profiles and accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, is one of the main areas of defamation that it is important to report.
This positioning, signed and supported by communities, collectives, free media and peoples from different parts of the world, expresses strongly the necessary solidarity with this movement in defense of the territory and by the construction of autonomy and self-management, at a crucial moment where once again the government, its political parties and the business class threaten the life of the members of CECOP to perpetuate the megaproject that will destroy more than 13 surrounding communities.
We speak out against any threat that is presented to any member of the CECOP and its communities. We demand that the Mexican government meet the demand for dialogue from the Council of Ejidos and Opposing Communities to La Parota Dam to end once and for all a death project disguised as “progress”.
Red de Historiadorxs Anticapitalistas (México)
Asamblea Independiente de Vecinos Zona Norte (CDMX)
No al Viaducto La Raza – Indios Verdes – Santa Clara (CDMX)
Ajusco Radio (radio comunitaria de Santo Tomás Ajusco)
Centro Cultural Ricardo Flores Magón (Baja California Sur)
Radio Zapatista Sudcaliforniana – RZSUD (Baja California Sur)
Comunes Libertarios (Colombia)
Imprenta Comunera (Colombia)
Rosas Negras (El Salvador)
Asamblea de Autoconvocadxs Contra Monsanto (Córdoba, Argentina)
Colectivo Minguero de Cuesta Blanca (Córdoba, Argentina)
Ruptura Colectiva (RC) (Latinoamérica
Revolución Internacional / World Revolution (Latinoamérica)
It`s Going Down (E.U.)
Somos Catsa Málaga (España)
[i] “Reactivan cerca de 80 órdenes de aprehensión contra opositores a la presa La Parota”, Liberación Guerrero, 11 de Diciembre de 2016. http://liberacionguerrero.net/en-el-municipio-mas-violento-de-mexico-hay-paz-en-los-bienes-comunales-de-cacahuatepec-asegura/
[ii] “No a la presa La Parota”, Tlachinollan, Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña.http://www.tlachinollan.org/respaldo/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1639%3Ano-a-la-presa-la-parota&catid=319%3Ala-parota&Itemid=559&lang=es
[iii]  Peace Brigades International – Proyecto México. OPOSICIÓN AL PROYECTO HIDROELÉCTRICO PRESA LA PAROTA.
[iv] Asociación Interamericana para la defensa del medio ambiente. Grandes Represas en América Latina, ¿Peor el remedio que la enfermedad? http://www.aida-americas.org/sites/default/files/InformeAIDA_GrandesRepreseas_BajaRes.pdf
[v]  Elosegui, José. Resistencia al megaproyecto hidráulico La Parotahttps://www.grain.org/es/article/entries/1102-resistencia-al-megaproyecto-hidroelectrico-la-parota