Suljaa’, Guerrero, Mexico
March 10th, 2018
The Ejidal Commissioner of Xochistlahuaca notified the closure of a project undertaken by the Municipal Government in the ejidal territory without consultation. This project has caused up until now, the devastation of more than 7,200 square meters of pine-oak forest in the area destined for conservation, use and restoration on part of the Communal Territorial Reorganization project undertaken by the Ejidal Assembly since 2010.
The president of the ejidal commission, Eliseo López Arando, in coordination with the Sulaa’ Commission in defense of Territory, the Committee of the Network of Drinking Water of Arroyo Grande, along with approximately 100 people, among them ejido members and neighbors of Xochistlahuaca, submitted to the office of the municipal president the notification that “in the ejido of Xochistlahuaca the plunder, sell, piping and extraction of the water of the territory of our ejido by whatever authority or person remains strictly prohibited”. Thus, “the work being carried out by the municipal government of Xochistlahuaca in the community of Junta de Arroyo Guerrero is closed as of this notification”. “This must be observed and respected by the municipal, state and federal authorities involved” in the looting and extraction of water of this agrarian area.
Afterwards, the commission, ejido members and neighbors of Xochistlahuaca went to the community of Junta de Arroyo Grande located in the northeastern part of the ejido, a watershed area with forest vegetation of pines and oaks, where they delivered the same notification to the delegate of the community, and they encouraged the supervisor of the project to remove the machinery from the site.
It is important to remember that the municipal president along with the lawyer, Aceadeth Rocha Ramírez, have implemented a policy of dispossession and the use of water as part of her political campaign toward the 2018 elections. Since August 2017, the municipal president has tried to move water toward those affiliated with her politically in the community of Guadalupe Victoria located in the agrarian area of Cozoyoapan. To achieve her goal, she tried to trick the agrarian area of Rancho del Cura Ejido, where the community organized to prevent the looting of water from their creek. Not being able to fulfill her intentions in Rancho del Cura Ejido, the municipal president tried to take the water from the south of Rancho del Cura Ejido. However, the ejido members and neighbors of Plan de Guadalupe also organized to prevent the looting of water from their creek. This has caused the most active people in defense and care of the water in Plan de Guadalupe being criminalized with the beginning of investigation files being organized against them.
Failing to take the water in Plan de Guadalupe, the municipal president, again with tricks, began the digging of a trench in the agrarian area of Xochistlahuaca with the intention of taking the water and installing a collection tank in the community of Junta de Arroyo Grande. The ditch of six and a half meters wide, measures right now one kilometer and 117 meters in length. This has meant the devastation of more than 7,200 square meters of pine-oak forest. In none of these cases, Rancho del Cura Ejido, Plan de Guadalupe and Xochistlahuaca, has the municipal president presented any technical investigation of the project, and much less carried out any process of formal consultation with the assemblies of the different agrarian areas. She has thus ignored respect for the collective property of these territories and provoking with these arbitrary actions grave unilateral altercations against the ecosystem, which must be documented by the corresponding authorities, like the Federal Attorney’s Office of the Environment.
In this context, the ejidal commissioner recalled that in 2010 the General Assembly of Ejido Members approved the implementation of the Plan of Communal Territorial Reorganization in which they established that the zone of Junta de Arroyo Grande, among others, would be destined to conservation, use and restauration of the forest vegetation. This decision prohibited among other things, the falling of trees, the devastation of the vegetation and the change in the use of the soil. These actions of care of the territory earned the ejido its place as a beneficiary of the program of Hydrological Environmental Services, implemented by CONAFORT (National Forest Commission) between 2012 and 2016.
Thus, at this moment the Nn’anncue Ñomndaa people of the Ejido of Xochistlahuaca are organizing to prevent the looting of the water in their territory, considering the actions imposed on part of the municipal president imply violations of the collective rights of the people, like the right to territory and free determination.
Translated from the original here: http://lapalabradelagua.espora.org/2018/03/12/nota-informativa-notifica-comisariado-ejidal-de-xochistlahuaca-clausura-de-obra-al-ayuntamiento-municipal/