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Governor drops support for Temaca residents

March 20, 2013

Having previously pledged not to permit the flooding of the town of Temacapulin, Governor Aristoteles Sandoval has gone back on his word and left the matter in the federal government’s hands.

The towns of Temacapulin, Palmarejo and Acasico all stand to be flooded when the Zapotillo dam is built on the Rio Verde in northern Jalisco.

On January 29, shortly before he took up office, Sandoval had tweeted, “I repeat, Jalisco should benefit, not suffer from our decisions. We will not flood Temacapulin.” However, on March 14, he performed a U-turn, claiming that “if this were still the decision of the state government we would maintain out stance,” but admitting that the decision will now be made by the federal government.

To mark the International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Dams on March 14, campaigners led demonstrations across Guadalajara, waving banners with slogans such as “Water is a right, not a commodity. Long live Temaca” and “Dams = Death. Rivers = Life.”

“We invite the governor to visit us, meet our people and hear our reasons and arguments to oppose the Zapotillo dam,” declared the Committee to Save Temacapulin, Palmarejo and Acasico in light of Sandoval’s change of heart, which came after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ruled that National Water Commission (Conagua) may proceed with the construction of the 105-meter dam.

The municipality of Cañadas de Obregon had filed a constitutional challenge against the federal government, arguing that it only had a license to build a dam with a height of 80 meters, not 105, but the SCJN dismissed the case on March 13.

For more on the polemic Zapotillo Dam, read my previous stories on an international ethical tribunal which last year urged the government to cancel the dam.

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