Indigenous peoples demand recognition to participate in energy generation
February 23, 2021

By Gloria Leticia Díaz

Members of indigenous organizations reproached the fact that the initiative to reform the Electricity Industry Law omitted the recognition of the peoples to participate in the generation of energy.

MEXICO CITY (apro) .- Members of indigenous organizations, with a presence in 263 communities in the country, reproached President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the Congress of the Union that in the initiative to reform the Electricity Industry Law (LIE) the recognition of the peoples to participate in the generation of energy is omitted, as contemplated in the Constitution.

Representatives of 14 indigenous peoples from the states of Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatán and Baja California warned that the reform proposed by the federal government and endorsed by the legislative majority of their party, Morena, does not recognize the right of indigenous peoples “to participate in the energy sector, especially in the generation of renewable energy.”

In celebrating that the reform is aimed at “the recovery of the State’s rectory over the energy sector”, the signatories demanded “to incorporate an adequate legal basis for indigenous peoples and agrarian nuclei” to exercise their constitutional rights contemplated in articles 2 and 25 of the Magna Carta.

The signatories of the petition made a recount of “the negative impacts of private energy megaprojects” in their territories and recalled that the constitutional rights of indigenous peoples “have never been reflected in Mexican laws of the energy sector, (but) designed based on private interests and large companies ”.

In this sense, they requested “to initiate a dialogue to modify this omission and establish a specific legal basis that applies only to community projects with social purposes, the result of self-determination processes of native peoples and agrarian nuclei, that respect ecosystems, our territories and the ecological limits ”.

According to the signatories, they have concrete proposals that can be incorporated into the reform initiative of the LIE promoted by President López Obrador.

They also recalled that indigenous agrarian communities and nuclei are “suffering the serious consequences of climate change,” for which they deny responsibility and, on the contrary, assume that they are the ones who have best conserved ecosystems, water and territory.

“Our participation in a social and democratic energy transition will reduce the growing dependence on gas from the United States, strengthening national energy sovereignty and the security and reliability of the electricity system,” the signatories highlighted.

If they are considered as part of “an energy transition led by indigenous peoples and communities, by ejidos and Communal Assets”, the message of the legislators will be that “the change of the LIE is not contrary to renewable energies, but to a disguised privatization of the electrical system, carried out under the excuse of climate change ”, they stressed.

The communication addressed to the Executive and Legislative powers was signed by authorities and organizations of the Nahua, Tutunaku, Nayeri (Cora), Téenek (Huasteco), Zapotec, Zoque, Mixe, Chontal, Mayan, Cucapá, Paipai, Kilwa, Kumial or kumeyaay and cochimí.

Entre las organizaciones firmantes destacan: Unión de Cooperativas Tosepan Titataniske, de la Sierra Norte de Puebla, que cuenta con 40 mil socios en 32 comunidades; autoridades tradicionales y de bienes comunales de Mesa del Nayar, de “Jazmín del Coquito”, y la organización comunitaria “En Busca de Nuestras Raíces”, en Mesa del Nayar.

Also the Coordinator of Peasant and Indigenous Organizations of the Huasteca Potosina (COCIHP); UMAFOR Istmo Pacífico, an organization with 17 agrarian nuclei; communal property authorities of Ixtepec, Oaxaca; Local Livestock Association of Ixtepec; Ixtepecano Citizen Council; Proixt; Community Promoters of the Ixtepec Community Wind Project; Ejido Río Manzo, in Santo Domingo, Zanatepec, Oaxaca; Zoque de Chiapas Language and Culture Center; Ejido of Sacalum; Sacalum Irrigation Units; Mayan Council of the West Chikin ‘Já, and Ejidal Council for the Rescue of the Indigenous Peoples of Baja California.

Source: Proceso

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