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AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE: Indigenous Community Wins Battle Against Energy Giant

After a five-year struggle, AJWS grantee Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project (ProDESC) secured a major win in June when federal energy authorities in Mexico announced they had definitively cancelled a massive energy project slated to be built on the lands of an Indigenous community. The project — “Gunaa Sicarú” — was awarded to a French utility company, and would have been one of the biggest wind energy parks in Latin America, built to supply power to private companies. This could have been a positive evolution for clean energy in the region — if the corporation had not trampled on the rights of Indigenous communities that own the land on the proposed project site. Gunaa Sicarú would have eaten up nearly 200 acres of Unión Hidalgo’s land — a devastating blow to this Indigenous, agricultural community. ProDESC, in partnership with the community, tirelessly petitioned the Mexican Energy Ministry to cancel contracts with Électricité de France (EDF) — and the case was taken to courts in Mexico and France. After ProDESC discovered that EDF had signed contracts with Mexican electricity authorities without proper consultation with local communities — and further that EDF had not identified security risks related to construction and development of the park — they vowed to fight for the land and resource rights of Unión Hidalgo.

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American Jewish World Service

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