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The sixth Mesoamerican meeting of the Latin American Network of People Affected by Dams (Redlar) is taking place in Costa Rica. Real World Radio interviewed COA member Guadalupe Espinoza Sauceda during the event.
She focused on the main events that have taken place in the resistance to El Zapotillo dam, in Jalisco state, Mexico.
Since the 1940s, the Altos de Jalisco region had been explored to build dams to store drinking water and distribute it in Guadalajara. Espinoza believes that the controvery around el Zapotillo is mainly about a project led by a consortium of water transnational corporations, of which 60% would be financed by the Mexican state.
The dam would have a 105-meter wall, it would flood nearly 5,000 hectares of land and would displace nearly 5,000 people. « Overall, three communities would be affected. Their residents had to migrate to the United States because of the reforms implemented by President Carlos Salinas in the 1990s », she explained.
The leader says that the process for the construction of El Zapotillo implies an open water privatization, characterized by the « repression and death » practices of the National Army and paramilitary groups, which confront the social movements with the excuse of fighting drug trafficking.
« There is criminalization of the protest. We are told we are against development because we oppose the dam. The government is promoting a media campaign to defend the construction of these works ».
The activist also remembered that on March 28 of this year El Zapotillo was taken by social organizations that stopped its contstruction through « a direct action inspired by the defense of water ».
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