Dear Governor Sandoval, Temaca is Waiting

Committee to Save Temaca, Acasico and Palmarejo
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jorge Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz
Governor of the State of Jalisco, Mexico

Dear Governor Sandoval,

For the last 8 years, the communities of Temaca, Acasico and Palmarejo have undertaken an arduous journey to demonstrate to the state of Jalisco, Mexico and the world the threats that the Zapotillo Dam poses to the history, culture and identity of their communities. Through the defense of their territories, they have raised awareness about the environmental impacts of the project on the Rio Verde and on the region of Los Altos de Jalisco. Thanks to the peaceful and enduring struggle of the people, the communities have become aware of the great importance of protecting the rights of all people and the need for democratic and sustainable public policies for water management that above all protect the lives and property of the people.

Throughout these years the communities of Temaca, Acasico and Palmarejo have witnessed the impunity in the justice system in Mexico. As a community, along with academics and experts on water issues and human rights, they have demonstrated that from a technical and legal standpoint El Zapotillo Dam is not a viable project. They have shown that the construction of El Zapotillo Dam is in violation of Mexican, laws along with various international laws.  In response to this opposition the communities have received harassment and threats, pressuring them to give up their homes, lands and history for a way of life that does not guarantee their livelihood nor the future of their families. El Zapotillo Dam also threatens the faith and religion of Temaca, as it would destroy the Basilica of the Senora de los Remedios, the more than 300-year-old cathedral that stands in the center of town.

That is why your statement Governor Sandoval, that  “Jalisco should be the main beneficiary of the decisions and not the one that suffers, we will not flood Temacapulín” has given the communities hope. Hope that your message means the protection of the rights of the communities and the protection of the Rio Verde. Above all signifying that justice and reason are on the side of the communities.  Temacapulín, Palmarejo and Acasico receive your statement with appreciation and approval. In agreement with the Committee to Save Temaca, Acasico and Palmarejo and with support from the international community, we ask that you respond to the following requests to ensure the protection of the rights and livelihoods of the communities:

  1. Formalize your position in front of the residents of Temacapulin, Acasico and Palmarejo.
  2. Organize a dialogue between the Federal Government, State Government, project proponents and communities within basin to discuss the arguments that demonstrate the unviability of El Zapotillo Dam, and the proposal for the construction of participatory and integrated water management system fot the state of Jalisco and the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area.
  3. Finally that the Fender and State Governments present a technical study to ensure that any changes to El Zapotillo Dam project will not affect the communities.

We hope that you are able to respond to these requests and that the communities of Temaca, Acasico and Palmarejo will not longer be affected by this project.

The eyes of the world are on Temaca.