Court lets construction resume at Mexico’s 900-MW La Parota

A Mexican federal court has lifted an order suspending construction of the 900-MW La Parota hydroelectric project in Guerrero State.

Judge Livia Larumbe Radilla lifted her own restraining order against the project November 7 after verifying that the project would not affect the interests of the indigenous Cacahuatepec community. (HNN 9/18/07)

Larumbe examined whether it was legal for the government to grant national utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) permission to use Papagayo River water for the dam and cut down nearby trees. The court order had suspended project work until that determination was made.

The Mexican center of environmental rights, Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA), said it would file a notice of intent to appeal the ruling. CEMDA, which is representing the local communities, contends the project would cause irreversible damage to the environment.

CFE has been eyeing the Papagayo River since the 1970s. The utility says it needs the 900-MW project to meet Mexico’s soaring power needs, especially with the growth of the nearby Pacific coast resort of Acapulco.

But human rights groups have backed local peasants in a bitter four-year fight to block the project, which they say would displace 25,000 people in the impoverished hills behind Acapulco. Machete-wielding peasants have manned permanent road blocks to stop the CFE’s workers getting to the site.

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