They demand cancellation of Santo Domingo Hydroelectric project

Río Santo Domingo with Las Nubes Cascades in background.

More than 800 people met on Tuesday, September 4, in the community of Amparo Agua Tinta, municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas, to participate in the first “Forum against hydroelectric dams in the border region,” in which they analyzed the problem of the activity of the extractivist megaprojects in the state.

“Called because of the peoples’ pain and suffering over the dispossession of territories and the destruction of Mother Earth” it was how members of the parishes of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, organizations and social movements, decided to meet to share and reflect on the large projects that are coming to Chiapas.

The participants referred to the Maya-Peninsula Train, a proposal of president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as “a plan that is centered on money, which seeks to loot nature and dispossess the peoples of their territory and culture.”

It was mentioned during the Forum that 26 of the 52 hydroelectric projects for the whole country are projected to be in Chiapas.

They also rejected realization of the “Santo Domingo Hydroelectric Project for Generation of Renewable Energy,” [1] which they want to construct near the localities of Loma Bonita and Las Nubes in Maravilla Tenejapa municipality, for attempting to invade the territory of the original peoples.

“This project is based on the interests of a few over the life of our peoples and it encompasses a large part of the region’s natural protected reserves,” describes a comunicado.

They also asked for the definitive cancellation Hydroelectric Project and respect for Mother Earth, territory and the peoples, in addition to the exigency of the right to have a secure, clean, transparent and informed consultation ratified by the peoples and communities faced with any other project.


Parishes and Missions of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas: San Juan Bautista, Nuevo San Juan Chamula, Misión de Guadalupe, Misión Tojolabal, San Pedro and San Pablo, Santa Margarita, San Fermín, San Sebastián (Comitán), Santísima Trinidad, Santo Niño de Atocha (Frontera Comalapa), Santo Domingo (Comitán) San Juan Cankuc, San Jacinto de Polonia (Ocosingo), José y María (Pico de Oro), San Andrés Apóstol (Larrainzar), Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel, illa Las Rosas, Asunción de María (Comitan).

Pastors of different Churches: San Rafael House of Prayer Church and New Life Church.

Organizations and social movements: OPEZ-Historical, Nueva Constituyente Ciudadana y Popular, Resistencia civil luz y fuerza del pueblo, EDUPAZ, SERAPAZ- Ocosingo. SIPAZ, Caritas San Cristóbal-social action Samuel Ruiz, Otros Mundos, SUEFOR (international observers from Sweden). COADHECH AC, autoridades Ejidales, Akib´al, a Chuj/Q´anjobal youth group [2] and SSS Los Lagos de Colores.



[1] In August 2018, Mexico’s environmental agency rejected the environmental impact report on the project and denied the hydroelectric company authorization to build the dam. Participants in this forum demand the total cancellation of the project, rather than allowing the company to make some changes and continue trying to obtain a favorable ruling on another environmental impact report.

[2] It’s interesting to note the attendance of a Chuj/Q’anjobal youth group from Guatemala, where communities are also resisting the construction of dams.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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