La Parota Dam
In 2003, the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission proposed the construction of La Parota Dam in the State of Guerrero. The 900 MW dam on the Papagayo River would have flooded close to 17,000 hectares of land and displaced more than 25,000 people. An additional 75,000 people were expected to be affected by changes to the river ecosystem downstream of the dam. Major losses in fisheries could have occured all the way downstream of the dam until the river’s delta at the Pacific Ocean.
In 2004 affected communities created the Council of Communal Land Owners and Communities Against Construction of La Parota Dam (CECOP). They joined forces with MAPDER – the Mexican Movement of Dam–Affected People – and held numerous protests and other activities to register their opposition to the dam. Several protests were met with violent police repression, which resulted in two deaths and violated the rights of affected communities.
The Federal Electricity Commission tried to obtain project approval by holding false consultations and preventing attendance by those opposed to the dam. In January of 2006, a Mexican court declared that some of the consultation meetings held by the Federal Electricity Commission were invalid.
The project was estimated to cost more than US$1 billion and construction companies from several countries had shown an interest in the project, including Mexican construction company ICA owned by magnate Carlos Slim, ranked the world’s richest man by Fortune magazine.
International Rivers worked with local organizations to support their campaign to stop the dam. We helped call international attention to the repeated human rights violations, and the illegal consultation process associated with this project.