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Death threats alleged by opponents of Muna solar energy park

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Mayan community leaders oppose land-clearing for a huge solar park in Muna. Photo: File

Mérida, Yucatán — Members of the indigenous community in San José Tipceh say they are being threatened with death and violence by proponents of a giant solar-energy operation.

The solar-panel park ironically requires acres of deforestation to produce “green energy.” Maya residents have protested the park, as well as wind-energy farms, for the damage they create in their ancestral lands.

In La Jornada Maya, unnamed residents said they received “threats to their life and integrity.”

California-based SunPower was awarded a contract to develop the project on 762 hectares/1,883 acres in Muna. Land will be cleared to make way for over a million solar cells. The energy it produces will be sold to the CFE.

They denounce the Energy Secretariat for pretending to allow “free, prior and informed consultation in San José Tipceh for this project, which has generated divisions among the settlers.”

Operators and allies of the company have verbally and physically attacked opponents of the project, and have threatened them with more violence if they appear in the next meetings of the supposed “consultation,” the newspaper reports.

They say that they have been denied their right to invite observers and advisors to the consultation sessions, expelling them aggressively, and affirmed that “from the Múuch Ximbal assembly we denounced the death threats and verbal attacks to the members of the community, and we hold the companies Vega Solar and SunPower as well as the Secretary of Energy, the Indemaya (the Institute for the Development of the Mayan Culture of the State of Yucatán) and the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples responsible for the threats and aggressions against our colleagues.”

Source: La Jornada Maya

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