Las Cruces Dam Threatens Environment, Human Rights

Julián López Cánare

Julián López Cánare, coordinator of the Náyeri Indigenous Council and a member of the Intercommunity Council of the San Pedro River. Credit: Gustavo Danemann.

Nayarit, Mexico

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.

The Mexican government approved the dam in September 2014, 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.

What is AIDA doing?

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. We are:

  • 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.

See Also: 

PDF icon ram_rp_67-Mexico_sp_0.pdf2.36 MB

Related AIDA Work

Related Reference Documents

Related Blog Posts