AMERICA/MEXICO - The Bishops: stop with threats! The problem in the area of Veracruz can be resolved through dialogue

Friday, 28 March 2014

Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - Since 2010, those who oppose the hydroelectric project El Naranjal, in Veracruz (Mexico), among whom there are also priests, live in a climate of threats and intimidation: this was denounced by the bishops who have asked federal and state authorities to talk to the people in the area in order to find a solution to the problem.
In a statement sent to Fides by the Mexican Episcopal Conference, the Commission for Social Pastoral joins the complaint made by Mgr. Eduardo Patino, Bishop of Córdoba , who has asked the federal and state authorities of Veracruz to clarify the origin of the threats and intimidation against Fr. Julian Gonzalez and against members of the Organization "Green Nature Forever Defense", and to take a final position on the El Naranjal hydroelectric project .
This project, which is explained in the Bishops’ statement, corresponds to one of the 112 dams that should be built with private capital in the state of Veracruz, and that threaten the territory of Amatlán de los Reyes and seven municipalities in the region, affecting approximately 30,000 people. Although this is the most important hydroelectric dam, which could generate a power of 360 MW, according to different communities and the Organization mentioned before, its construction would result in severe damage to the environment, as it provides an indiscriminate reduction of trees and the significant decrease of waters of the Blanco River.
The people who live along the canal risk viral infections and possible flooding of the canal during the rainy seasons. The Bishops do not oppose the project, but stress the importance of dialogue to resolve the problem permanently in the area. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 28/03/2014)