El Zapotillo Dam Site Occupied While Illegal Construction Continues

MAPDER - Comité Salvemos Temacapulín, Acasico y Palmarejo
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Temacapulín Residents Demand Cancellation of the Project

Activists from around the country join protest in solidarity with the community of Temacapulín.

The Committee of Salvemos Temaca calls on international organizations, international agencies and individuals to ensure that those protesting are not victims of police harassment and repression by the state.

Temacapulín, Mexico- At 9pm on Sunday March 27, 200 community members and allies from Temacapulín, Chiapas, Nayarit, Mexico City, Colima, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Guerrero and Guadalajara began an occupation of the construction site of El Zapotillo Dam in the state of Jalisco.
The objective of this peaceful action is to permanently and definitively stop El Zapotillo Dam and to establish an open dialogue between the authorities and the affected communities.

The authorities involved have not abided the court decisions to suspend construction, and continue to ignore the well-founded opposition of the communities threatened by the project. Construction on the dam wall progresses despite a lack of authorization from the municipality of Cañadas de Obregon to raise the dam height from 85 to 105 meters. Construction also continues despite a recent community consultation in which 98% of residents and natives of Temacapulín stated that they do not want the dam to be built, and in spite of the legal injunctions granted on February 9, 2011 calling for the suspension of dam construction. These injunctions were granted because the dam violates guarantees to the law, legal security, consultation, private property, timely and informed receipt of information, and respect for the environment, as protected by the Mexican Constitution.

"We have adhered to the law and have appealed at a local, state and federal level, trying to create a dialogue with those who are behind the dam. After surveys and studies paid for ourselves, we have clearly expressed our disagreement with the project, which is not sustainable, and which intends to displace and destroy our community, flooding sixteen centuries of history. We have taken all possible legal measures and yet at all three levels the government insists on displaying its authoritarianism before us." Comité Salvemos Temacapulín

The following are the demands of the residents who would be affected by El Zapotillo Dam and their allies:

  • The Government of Mexico must immediately cancel El Zapotillo Dam and the relocation town and stop construction at both sites.
  • They must respect our opposition to the dam.
  • They must accept that they can no longer follow the minimal democratic process in carrying out this project.
  • They must find and implement alternative means to providing water to rural and urban areas that do not trample on the constitutional rights of citizens.
 It is our right to defend our land.
No to El Zapotillo Dam
Rivers For Life, Not for Death
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