Birds standing on sediment buildup in the Cerro de Oro reservoir in Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo by Accountability Counsel.
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be in Temacapulín, Mexico this coming November 5-6 to participate in the Permanent Peoples Tribunal examining the impacts of the construction of dams and reservoirs in Mexico. The Tribunal panel will hear about the El Zapotillo, Cerro de Oro, Paso de la Reina, La Parota and El Naranjal dams.
In short, the Cerro de Oro (Gold Hill) dam, on the Santo Domingo River in southern Mexico, displaced 26,000 people. Its reservoir waters have been changing from oligotrophic to eutrophic due to the increased release of nutrients from submerged organic matter, combined with thermal stratification, making them less hospitable to many fish species (and has also disrupted migration patterns). Land clearance around the reservoirs has caused increasing silting, and human activities have caused pollution from sewage, trash, fertilizers and pesticides.
The pre-hearing in Temacapulín on the environment is being 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 information that the Tribunal panel gathers in early-November will be presented at a final Permanent Peoples Tribunal hearing in Mexico in early-2014.