After almost a decade of struggle by the Zapotec community members of Unión Hidalgo, in the face of the dispossession of their territories for the construction of the Piedra Larga wind farm, the Unitary Agrarian Tribunal (TUA) declared for the second time the definitive nullity of communal land lease contracts.
Juan Antonio López Cruz, Transnational Justice Coordinator of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project (Prodesc), stated that the court ordered the company Desarrollos Eólicos Mexicanos (Demex) to vacate and return part of the area used for the construction of a wind farm in Unión Hidalgo, in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
The legal advisor explained that the TUA with its resolution recognized the communal and agrarian character of the lands where Demex -a subsidiary of the Spanish company Renovalia Energy- built its energy generation complex, on lands supposedly rented as private property.
This new victory of the community members vindicates their agrarian rights and their rights as Zapotec indigenous people," he said.
Therefore, he explained, the Demex company, with the sentence of nullity of lease contracts, is obliged to remove part of the installations of the Piedra Larga wind farm from the communal lands of Unión Hidalgo.
The TUA of District 22, based in San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, ordered the Public Registry of Property and the notary public offices to cancel any registration of the nullified contracts in their protocol books.
He detailed that the sentence was given after nine years of struggle by Unión Hidalgo and ProDESC in defense of the territory in the face of the dispossessions carried out by Demex in 2006 and 2011.
The specialist in strategic litigation referred that the resolution demonstrates how it is possible to advance in the defense of the territory of the agrarian communities against "the dispossession of large transnational companies, in collusion with public officials".
The determination sets a precedent because any community member in the country will be able to claim the nullity of the "leonine" contracts in case they have been authorized individually and not by means of an agreement of a General Assembly of community members.
This ruling does not only benefit the community members of Unión Hidalgo or the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, it has repercussions throughout the country", concluded the legal specialist.
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