With warm greeting for all you dear friends; Your energetic activities and brave fights warms the heart of any human being who is fed up with dam projects around the world that have catastrophic impacts on communities that live and depend on the natural environment, wipe out livelihoods, exacerbate conflict, lead to historical loss, destroy the social fabric of a people coupled with human rights abuses and environment degradation.
From Kenya, we would like to convey our solidarity with the people of Temaca on this day, the 10th November, when dam affected people and their allies around the world join you in the Day of Action for the Cancellation of the El Zapotillo Dam. A dam which when completed will flood the towns of Temacapulín, Acasico, and Palmarejo leading to a grave loss to central Mexican culture and history along with wiping out livelihoods and destroying strong social fabrics, leading to a loss of identity of a people. El Zapotillo like many destructive dam projects is being constructed on the Río Verde in Mexico's Jalisco state to provide water to the neighboring state of Guanajuato. The project is proceeding without the consent of the communities who would be displaced, lacking the appropriate environmental impact assessment, cultural heritage report and land use permits.
Large dams have forced 80 million peoples from their land in the past six decades. Indigenous, tribal, and peasant communities have been hard hit. These legions of dam refugees are in the great majority of the cases, economically, culturally, and psychology devastated. The people by reservoirs are only the most visible victims of large dams. Millions of people have lost land and houses to canals, irrigation schemes, roads, power lines and industrial development projects that accompany dams. Many more have lost access to the clean water, food sources, and natural resources.
While we stand in solidarity, my heart bleeds for the people of Temaca who gave me a different insight to life since my visit to Temaca last month. I saw love among a people, generosity beyond my imagination, and solidarity in the struggle that was evident among the old and the young. And while I reminisce on the week I spent in this amazing town, and the priceless memories, I cannot begin to imagine the corridors where I shook hands being welcomed to Temaca and where I hugged and kissed comrades goodbye will be flooded once the dam is completed, I cannot comprehend why any sane being would want to condemn a people to a life with no identity from a life full of culture, pride and community.
As our struggle to protect and defend global waters, riverine and downstream communities, our strength in the movement is that “We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something”
Temaca Viva! La lucha sigue!!!