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Bearing Witness to Community Struggles Against Dams and Mining in Mexico


I invite you to read my observations of my recent trip to Mexico here.

“In November 2012, members of the Blue Planet Project team, including Maude Barlow, former Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and Blue Planet Project founder, and Claudia Campero, Blue Planet Project Organizer, traveled to Mexico to bear witness to the growing social and environmental impacts of dams and mining operations and community struggles for access to clean, safe water. While there, Maude Barlow joined other civil society representatives as a panelist for the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, an independent international panel that examines and provides judgments on human rights violations. Other panelists included Monti Aguirre, International Rivers Latin America Program Coordinator, Miloon Kothari, Ex-Special Rapporteur for Housing Rights of the UN, Patricia Avila, researcher at the Laboratory on Political Ecology and Society of the Ecosystems Research Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a judge at the Latin American Water Tribunal, Francisco Lopez Barcenas, an indigenous Mixtec lawyer and expert on indigenous rights, and Carlos Vainer, a sociologist and professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

The tribunal held a pre-hearing in Temacapulín, Mexico that was coordinated by MAPDER (Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa de los Rios/Mexican Movement of People Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers), HIC-AL (Habitat International Coalition-Latin America), and other organizations. The hearing provided a forum for people to share their stories and experiences about the impacts of the construction of dams in Mexico, including the El Zapotillo, Cerro de Oro, Paso de la Reina, La Parota and El Naranjal dams. Information gathered by the tribunal will be presented at a final Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal hearing in Mexico in early 2014.

After the hearing, the Blue Planet Project team travelled to Mexico City to participate in a public forum on the right to water, and then on to the towns of Cerro de San Pedro and Real de Catorce to see how Canadian mining operations are directly impacting local residents through noise, pollution and contamination of local water sources.

Bearing Witness to Community Struggles Against Dams and Mining in Mexico is a compilation of blog posts written by Maude Barlow, detailing her observations and experiences while in Mexico.”