Jorge A. Pérez AlfonsoCorrespondent Periódico La Jornada
Wednesday, 7 September 2022, p. 26Oaxaca
, Oax, Eleven community members of Unión Hidalgo regained control of their lands in that municipality after the agrarian unitary court of district 22, based in San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, determined the nullity of the lease contracts held in the area by the company Desarrollos Eólicos Mexicanos SA de CV (Demex), a subsidiary of the Spanish company Renovalia Energy, reported at a press conference two peasant women accompanied by members of Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, AC (Prodesc).
Guadalupe Ramírez Castellanos, community defender from this area of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, explained that in 2006 Demex arrived in Unión Hidalgo and tricked the people into agreeing to rent their land on an individual basis, assuring them that it was private property.
He explained that the company's representatives, in complicity with two notary publics, irregularly processed the corresponding property titles in order to facilitate the agreements; the documents were delivered to the company and not to the owners.
Demex then signed individual lease agreements with the local farmers; however, the lands in question are communal, so the agreements should have been signed by the corresponding assemblies, and since this was not the case, the deal was illegal.
In 2013, 11 community members went before the agrarian unitary court of Tuxtepec, where a process was initiated to demand the nullity of the process that allowed the company to occupy the land.
Ramírez Castellanos emphasized that Prodesc's accompaniment was very important, as the plaintiffs were up against big monsters, such as the Spanish company, but also against the authorities.
Piedra Larga 1 and 2 wind farms, which Demex established in the region and consist of 114 turbines, were inaugurated in 2012 by the then PAN president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (2006-2012)
Guadalupe Ramírez assured that the achievement of these 11 comuneros is historic for Oaxaca and the rest of the country and will help those in similar situations to file lawsuits and regain control of their lands.
Juan Antonio López, coordinator of Prodesc's transnational justice area, pointed out that in the agrarian community of Juchitán de Zaragoza alone, 27 wind farms were installed in conditions similar to those of Piedra Larga.
He added that in the case of Unión Hidalgo, Demex, seeing that in the trial everything was against them, tried in 2017 to terminate the contracts in advance, seeking to avoid an unfavorable ruling, knowing that this would open the door for other affected farmers to fight for their property.