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Mexico: Farmers and indigenous accuse EDF of stimulating conflicts, seizing land without prior authorisation and of intimidation and threats; includes comments from the company

“Wind Project Splinters a Mexico Region Prized for Powerful Gusts”, 09 July 2021

...The Valdiviesos are among the families who leased land to EDF and now find themselves at odds with both other residents and the company over the giant towers and turbines it’s proposing to build on their properties. Disputes about the project help explain why the men showed up at his home that day, Valdivieso said...What he and others in the community do blame EDF for is failing to act on and foresee that their wind projects would drive some local residents—desperate for money from land leases—to the brink of violence. For them, it’s emblematic of how renewable energy developers are creating rifts between those trying to preserve their ancestral lands and those who will do almost anything for much-needed cash. EDF officials said the company hasn’t made threats against anyone and added that it strongly condemns such practices…Since EDF erected its first wind turbine in 2009 in southern Mexico, the company has been sued by indigenous and human rights groups and accused by residents of taking over their land with no warning…Gunaa Sicaru would be EDF’s fourth wind park in the area, almost doubling its installed local capacity if completed…[T]he wind parks have splintered the community that descends from pre-Columbian tribes…For its land, the Valdivieso family receives 15,000 pesos ($750) a year from EDF for leasing 10 hectares, equal to roughly 16% of what the household earns each year from selling cheese and mutton from their farm...He said, even now, farmers continue to be threatened for opposing the wind parks. “The city council is raising the voices of the people who have been disassociated, because we would like the wind parks to generate a lot of resources,” Morales said...

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