Decade Long Fight Against Dam Victorious!

23 Aug

With the signing of the Cacahuatepec Agreement, the Papagayo River will remain wild and undammed.

From Root Force

La Parota Dam has been definitively canceled.

The government of Guerrero has formally abandoned all plans for the dam and will inform the Mexican federal government that it will not approve its construction.

After nearly 10 years of struggle, campesinos fighting to defend their way of life from La Parota Dam won a definitive victory with the Aug. 16 signing of the “Cacahuatepec Agreement,” signed between Guerrero Governor Ángel Aguirre and the Council of Ejidos and Communities in Opposition to La Parota Dam (CECOP), the primary organization opposing the dam. With the agreement, Aguirre has committed to seek an audience between CECOP and Mexican President Felipe Calderon. He has also committed the state not to approve La Parota Dam if it has any effect on the environment, if affected communities do not accept it, and if affected people are not fairly compensated. This effectively renders the dam dead in the water.

In other good news, human rights defender and La Parota opponent Vidulfo Rosales Sierra was able to return to his home in Mexico on August 9th under the government protection after fleeing the country in May due to threats on his life.

As many of you may know, the struggle against La Parota Dam has been one of Root Force’s signature campaigns since our founding, and was the focus of some of the first direct actions to use the Root Force name. Root Force activists visited the communities resisting La Parota Dam in 2006, and we had kept in occasional contact since then. That makes this a particularly emotional victory for us.

From the beginning, we drew attention to the fact that La Parota was a critical component of a hemispheric infrastructure integration plan intended to prop up the global economic system at the root of all the injustices we fight against. In other words, the dam’s cancellation is victory for all of us.

But above all, it is a victory for the 100,000 people whose livelihoods the dam would have destroyed, for every living being that depends on the 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) it would have flooded, and indeed for all the life that depends on a wild and free Papagayo River.

Let us celebrate this victory and take it as in inspiration. With commitment, bravery and organization like that shown by CECOP and its allies, we can and will shut down project after project, until we bring this entire rotten system down.

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