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WIN! Judge orders construction of Zapotillo dam suspended

The Inter Press Service has reported that the Zapotillo dam in Mexico “would divert the course of the Verde river and carry water to the cities of León and Guadalajara. The project, to be completed by late 2012, also involves the construction of a 140-km aqueduct from the dam, pumping plants, a disinfection plant, a storage tank and a macro-circuit for drinking water distribution.” But, “The people of three towns (Temacapulín, Acasico and Palmarejo) that would be flooded by the El Zapotillo dam to be built in the western Mexican state of Jalisco have refused to be reolcated and are fighting to save their homes.”

The IPS article further explains that, “In 2006, the Secretariat (ministry) of the Environment and Natural Resources, in charge of the environmental impact report, approved a plan that involved an 80-metre high dam, with a reservoir that would hold 411 million cubic metres of water. But the call for bids issued in 2007 involved a 105-metre high wall, which would imply the flooding of Temacapulín, Acasico and Palmarejo, including buildings designated as cultural heritage sites and the surrounding farmland, and the forced displacement of the local population.”

On February 9, La Jornada Jalisco reported that, “The assistant chief judge of the state of Jalisco ordered the construction of the Zapotillo dam suspended…” International Rivers further explains that the legal injunction requires “an immediate stop to the construction of El Zapotillo Dam on grounds of multiple violations of Mexican law.”

Mexico City-based Blue Planet Project organizer Claudia Campero Arena notes that Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow expressed support for a public consultation that took place last month. The non-binding community vote in early-January overwhelmingly rejected the project.

Claudia notes, “The struggle against the dam will surely continue. We all know they don’t give up easily, but neither do we!. However, these are encouraging events.”

The articles are at and More from International Rivers at