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Saving the San Pedro Mezquital River from a destructive large dam

If built, the Las Cruces Dam would block the San Pedro Mezquital, the last free-flowing river in Mexico’s western Sierra Madre. It would affect fisheries, agriculture, livestock and other activities that nearly 12,000 families depend upon for survival.

The reservoir would flood the village of San Blasito and impact the town of Saycota. It would destroy an indigenous ceremonial center and 14 sacred sites. And it would restrict the water and nutrients that the river carries to Marismas Nacionales—the National Wetlands—which harbors one of the largest mangrove forests in Mexico.

In September 2014, the Mexican government approved the dam, despite the environmental impacts and without consulting and obtaining consent from affected indigenous  communities.

The authorization ignored the technical opinions of national authorities, as well as recommendations from international organizations about the threats the project poses to the environment and human rights.

AIDA is working hand-in-hand with local organizations to support the communities affected by the project in their fight to have their rights respected.

What AIDA is doing: 

  • Strengthening domestic litigation, brought by the Mexican Center on Environmental Law (CEMDA) and other partners, with legal arguments based in international law.
  • Petitioning United Nations Special Rapporteurs and the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention (an international treaty for wetlands conservation) to deem the permit process illegal and demand that the government revoke its authorization.
  • Generating public pressure on Mexican authorities to stop the dam.

Partners:

Causa NaturaCEMDAMangrove Ecological GroupNuiwariSERAPAZ
Photo: Camilo Thompson / AIDA

The Latest

Freshwater Sources, Indigenous Rights | 3 April 2018

Supporting Mexico’s indigenous communities in their fight against Las Cruces Dam

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Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Large Dams | 9 November 2017

Honoring the indigenous connection to the San Pedro Mezquital River

In Northwest Mexico, the Western Sierra Madre Mountains rise like giants from the coastal wetlands of the Gulf of California to the Central Mexican Plateau. Indigenous communities have long found...read more

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Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Large Dams | 10 May 2016

Marcelina, the voice of the San Pedro Mezquital

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