El Zapotillo Dam

The small towns of Temacapulín, Acasico and Palmarejo are located next to the Río Verde, about 2 hours northeast of Guadalajara, México. Besides the common ties of location, language and culture, they all face the threat of inundation if El Zapotillo Dam is built.

But the people are fighting back.

Residents have been organizing, protesting, and fighting legal battles against El Zapotillo Dam since it was proposed in 2006 by CONAGUA, Mexico's National Water Commission.

Over 1,000 permanent residents will have to be relocated if the towns are flooded. When the seasonal migrant population is included, the number is over 3,000. At a meeting in May 2008, Governor Emilio González Márquez said that if 50% + 1 of the population was not if favor of the dam, it would not be built. Although there is an audio recording of his promise, the Governor so far has not kept his word and plans are moving forward.

International Rivers is part of a national and international coalition fighting to protect the rights of those who would be affected by El Zapotillo. The international campaign "Los Ojos del Mundo Están Puestos en Temaca" or "The Eyes of the World are on Temaca" was launched at a press conference in Guadalajara on March 15th, 2010.

Temaca was also the site of Rivers for Life 3: The Third International Meeting of Dam-Affected People and Their Allies, in early October 2010. Next was an International Day of Action to Cancel El Zapotillo on November 10.

On 7 January, 2011, a community consultation was held during the holiday festival. Through this transparent and democratic process, it was determined that 99% of the population doesn't want the dam.

On 9 February, 2011, a victory was won in the form of a legal injunction requiring an immediate stop to the construction of El Zapotillo Dam on grounds of multiple violations of Mexican law. However construction on the project has continued despite the fact that there are still no concrete plans as to where the aqueduct will be built.

Additionally the Mexican government intend to resettle the people of Temacapulín in a new “centro de poblacion” (resettlement community) known as Talicoyunque. On August 3, 2011 the Administrative Tribunal for the State of Jalisco nullified the plan to build this new resettlement site, due to inconsistencies with the project.

The people will continue fighting until El Zapotillo Dam is cancelled and construction halted permanently.

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