EDF: Court Ruling Won’t Affect Wind Farm ProjectBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Mon, 09/27/2021 - 16:25
Transnational French Company, Électricité de France (EDF) claims that Oaxaca’s court decision banning the development of energy projects on indigenous communities’ ancestral lands will not affect the ongoing construction of its US$363 million, 252 MW Gunaa Sicarú wind farm in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
“The decision does not have an impact on the development of the Gunaa Sicarú wind power plant, as it is planned exclusively on private lands,” the French energy company told Windpower Monthly.
This comes after Oaxaca’s First Collegiate Court of Administrative and Civil Matters of the Thirteenth Circuit voted unanimously in favor of the Juchitan de Zaragoza Farming Community who requested an injunction to block the development of energy projects on ancestral lands.
“The responsible authorities [shall] refrain from carrying out acts that have the purpose of totally or partially depriving [indigenous communities], temporarily or permanently, of the property, possession or enjoyment of the lands of common use for the purpose of the works related to the construction of a wind farm,” the court ruled.
The Assembly of Indigenous People of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, who had criticized the Mexican federal government for allowing the development of wind farms on region welcomed the ruling.
“The Mexican State has not acted in any way in good faith, since there are already 29 wind farms in the region, none of them having respected the rights of self-determination and autonomy of indigenous peoples,” the assembly body stated.
This follows a 2018 judicial resolution which had ordered the suspension of the project after it found that the company had failed to consult the indigenous Zapotec community as outlined by Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The consultation that was carried out in 2019 was viewed as illegitimate by the community and has since been dismissed says the Business and Human Rights Resource Center.
Ultimately, EDF said that the court decision would not affect the company’s ongoing consultation process which had been suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.