On Sunday, September 9th, the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Adequate Housing and on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties of Indigenous Peoples, accompanied by representatives of the Mexican office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, met with campesinos opposing the Parota project, and expressed their commitment to defense of their rights.
More than a year ago, the Council of Communal Farmers and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP) sent an invitation letter to Miloon Kothari so that he visit their territory. The Rapporteur has been familiar with the case since 2004 through the civil society organizations alliance known as the Space of Civil Organizations for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Espacio DESC) and has directed three letters of concern to the Mexican government. He was accompanied on this visit by Rapporteur Stavenhagen, who is also following the case and who already visited the region one year ago. Despite the fact that the visit is not considered official, the government requested that the UN representatives meet with several authorities (Federal Electricity Commission, Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, local government) as well as with campesinos who have manifested in favor of the dam.
The Rapporteurs arrived at 10:30 in the morning at the roadblock of the Dos Arroyos ejido (communal farming community) and, in the presence of a numerous group of communal farmers and land holders, heard multiple testimonies from men, women and young people from various communities in the region.
The first to speak were the CECOP spokespeople, and ? standing before a backdrop of a large map of the region to be affected by the dam, photographs of the repression experienced in the assemblies, and numerous newspaper reports of their struggle ? told the store of the movement. They emphasized that dam supporters in fact do not exist, given that those who present themselves as such have been deceived and paid and do not mobilize without the support of the authorities. They requested the Rapporteurs to emit a recommendation to the government so that it respect the decision made in the assembly carried out in accordance with traditional ways and customs on 12 August in the community of Bienes Comunales de Cacahuatepec at which the majority of those present, more than three thousand.