Members of the APPJ receive new threats during the consultation in Juchitán

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During the first phase of the consultation process that is currently taking place in Juchitán, with the objective of constructing a new wind power complex with 132 wind generators covering 5332 hectares in the municipality in charge of Energía Eólica del Sur (formerly Mareña Renovables).

This phase started on Monday, November 3 in the Ecological Forum of Juchitán. The purpose of this consultation process should be to guarantee the rights of indiginous and tribal people, other sectors of the society and citizens in general, with regard to their right to free, prior and informed consultation, which is why it is not acceptable under any circumstances that a process that pretends to guarantee rights violate other rights that have the same scope.

At midday on Wednesday,November 5, members of APPJ received a phone call on their mobile phones from a local phone number where they were asked: ”what have you done in the forum? You have nothing to do there”, “be prepared to face the consequences, you will know us”. This is the message three of the APPJ members received , a fourth person did not answer the call recognizing that all calls came from the same number. It is important to say that some suspicious persons among the participants had already been identified at this stage of the consultation process and other suspects in the corners outside of the forum as wellPrior to these incidences, on Tuesday afternoon at 4pm, a vehicle parked opposite the premises of the radio station Totopo in the seventh section of Juchitán, where APPJ was holding a meeting and began to sound the horn, the participants could observe that in this vehicle there were persons linked to the wind farm Bii Hioxo managed by Gas Natural Fenosa who have been already identified as responsible for harassment and threats against members of the APPJ.

Immediately, these incidences were exposed in the meeting that was being held in the premises of the Ecological Forum of Juchitán where the authorities of the Commission of Technical Advisers of the process of prior consultation explained the consultation process to Group D where community committees and civil and social organizations have been assembled.

The violation of rights as participants of the consulation process endangers their safety and is a way to try to keep quiet critical voices and to prevent the citizens’ participation in a process that should be open and extensive. It is not acceptable that on the one hand it is a process about guaranteing rights while one the other hand other rights are violated with different acts and omission. The appearance of new threats against members of the APPJ who are participating in this process shows this fact clearly.

All those previous incidences do not only violate the right to participate of a specific group that has denounced the wind farm construction Bii Hioxo on communal land, that has criticized the process and has repeatedly denounced threats and harassment but also invalidate the first phase of the consultation process that should guarantee the participation of all affected persons.

Due to the all the facts mentioned above, we consider:

That a consultation process that quit guaranteing that the rights and interests of indigenous peoples are respected and protected and in which the participation is not longer fair and equal is a distorted process right from the start and therefore the lack of fulfilment of the standards that it should fulfil (amongst other good faith and cultural appropriate procedures) leads to the fact that this process is unfeasible, inadequate and additionally dislegitimized.

It is unacceptable that human rights are violated with the argument of guaranteing other rights, this only strengthens the argument that it is a simulated process and not one that guarantee rights.

We demand:

  • that the liberties of the participants and especially the liberties of free exercise of the communal defenders to fulfil the defense of their rights are guaranteed.
  • Security guarantees for the members of the APPJ who exercise their right to participation and freedom of opinion in the consultation process.
  • that the CNDH and the Defensoría de los Derechos Humanos del Pueblo de Oaxaca accompany the victims of those incidences in their work during the consultation process.
  • that the national and international community observe this first consultation as the authorities have already accepted.