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Startseite Urgent Actions 2011 10 Community threatened by wind farm staff
UA 315/11
Abgeschlossen am 1. November 2011

Community threatened by wind farm staff

AI-Index: AMR 41/068/2011

Members of an indigenous community in Oaxaca, southern Mexico have been threatened by security staff from a wind farm construction company. The company has been building on their land. Two human rights defenders have also received death threats. Their lives are a risk.

On 21 October, around fifty workers from a wind farm company arrived on land belonging to the indigenous Zapoteca community of Unión Hidalgo in Oaxaca state. The workers destroyed the fence surrounding the land. According to witnesses, they then threatened and insulted community members. A former police officer employed by the company to guarantee security of the project told human rights defender Lucila Bettina Cruz Velazquez “if you come back here again we’ll burn and kill you” (“si vuelves por acá te vamos a quemar y te vamos a matar"). Another human rights defender Maribel González was told to “leave this place now, we’re going to kill you” (“váyanse que los vamos a matar”). Four men believed to be employed as security by the company beat up Arquimides Gómez, a local teacher who has been supporting the community. He was punched in the ribs several times and threatened with a hammer. The community has filed a complaint with the state Public Prosecutor’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia) against the threats and aggression.

Members of the indigenous community are opposed to the wind farm being built on their land. They argue the construction is taking place without their free, prior and informed consent in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and they are concerned about the impact of the construction on their agriculture and land. As a result of their opposition, they have been subject to threats and intimidation for several months. The construction project was halted on 24 May but the wind farm company has continued to exert pressure on the community and enter their lands.

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