IGR lawsuit (re water rights, Mexico)

El Descabezadero, Actopan River. Credit: Gengiskanhg, Creative Commons

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In 2011, indigenous communities of Veracruz, Mexico, filed a complaint against the hydroelectric company Impulsa Generación Responsable (IGR) to stop the construction of three hydroelectric plants along the Jalacingo River – a project which had been approved by local authorities.  The plaintiffs allege that the project will interfere with their right to water as the river's course will be altered and their traditional water supply disrupted.  IGR argues that they obtained the authorities’ permission after presenting the corresponding environmental impact assessment.

In March 2015, a district court of Xalapa, Veracruz, ruled in favour of the defendants.  The judge did not appreciate any risk of environmental damage as the environmental assessment was in order.  The plaintiffs appealed this decision.  In April 2015, the federal court of Veracruz took into account the risk of environmental damage and applied the principle of in dubio pro natura, according to which if there is a reasonable doubt, prevention of irreparable environmental damage must prevail.  The court suspended the project.  The defendant has appealed this decision.  The case is on-going. 

In May 2015, local activists claimed that local authorities were violating the federal court’s decision by encouraging disrespect for the project suspension among the population and IGR workers.  The activists are studying the possibility to file a criminal lawsuit against Jalancigo’s Mayor and other local authorities.

- [ES] De Jalacingo… Viola alcalde suspensión de obra hidroeléctrica, Hermilo Medina, Horizonte (Mexico), 13 May 2015
- [ES] Suspenden 3 hidroeléctricas en Jalacingo, Agencias, Noreste (Mexico), 25 Apr 2015
- [ES] Suspenden construcción de hidroeléctricas en Veracruz, Rubén Mosso, Milenio.com (Mexico), 24 Apr 2015
- [ES] Tribunal ampara a indígenas contra centrales eléctricas en sus manantiales, Alfredo Méndez y Gustavo Castillo, La Jornada (Mexico), 24 Apr 2015
- [ES] Tribunal suspende obras de 3 hidroeléctricas en Veracruz y Puebla, Alfredo Méndez, La Jornada( México), 23 Apr 2015  

Impulsa Generación Responsable (IGR):
- [ES] Avalan 3 minihidroeléctricas en el rio Jalacingo, Rosalinda Morales, Imagen del Golfo, (Mexico), 11 Apr 2013.

ELaw:
- Water rights for indigenous communities in Mexico, 7 May 2015

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Author: Noreste (México)

Coffee_plantation_Puebla_Mexico

“Suspenden 3 hidroeléctricas en Jalancingo”, 25 de Abril de 2015

Segundo Tribunal Colegiado en Materia Administrativa…ordenó la suspensión provisional para la construcción y operación de tres minihidroeléctricas…en el municipio veracruzano de Jalacingo…de la compañía hidroeléctrica Impulsa Generación Responsable (IGR)…De acuerdo a la justicia federal, “la suspensión evitará que se afecte el entorno ecológico de las comunidades indígenas, en específico el derecho humano al agua”…Con esta sentencia se abre la posibilidad de frenar los 112 proyectos de presas en Veracruz…[B]asado en el principio in dubio pro natura…[el Tribunal] estimó fundada la queja…solicitada por integrantes de comunidades indígenas…

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