Defense of the Territory.
Currently, humanity lives in an economic system based on overproduction and deregulated consumption that, in order to perpetuate it, companies and governments rely on the plundering of resources and territories of those who, paradoxically, are its owners but do not have support or incentives that allow their sustainable and community oriented use. However, it is common knowledge that communities organize, unite and coordinate to take advantage of, care for, occupy and defend their territories. For 10 years FASOL has contributed to these citizen initiatives through small grants that seek to propitiate and strengthen the social fabric from which the social subject that takes charge of its resources and the decision making to obtain a common benefit and exploitation will arise.
How do they do it? Here we present you with one of their stories.
Group: United Citizens’ Association Against the Pipeline
Place: San Rafael, Veracruz
Project: Defending life and environment
In the City of San Rafael, Veracruz, a private company intended to install an industrial pipeline through the federal zone of the road a few meters from homes, kindergartens, schools, health centers, sports centers, churches and production plants, thus putting at risk of death to its inhabitants. A section of the pipeline would go through the agricultural and forestry area with 19 crossing of water runoff sites, with the implied risk of contaminating the bodies of water in the event of gas leakage. The drilling system that is used for this type of extraction would also affect the underground ponds since, as a flooded area, the community is located in an area rich in wetlands with valuable ecosystems.
Faced with these threats, the community organized itself and performed meetings and talks to inform and raise awareness in the communities that would be affected, handout of flyers, distribution of DVDs with information, placement of allusive banners, visits to the camps raised in rejection of the installation of the gas pipeline near the dwellings, written requests to Government Official Offices (such as State Civil Protection Secretariat, State Urban Development Directorate, SCT, CNDH, State Human Rights, SEMARNAT and others), requesting the intervention of these to avoid construction of the gas pipeline near housing and populated sites.
- Thanks to those efforts they succeeded in relocating 85% of the original line of the pipeline outside the agricultural and livestock area, thus saving 3.572 people from the potential danger.
- It was possible to reduce the number of crossings of water bodies, and in those that crossed the pipeline was given a double jacket to minimize the possibility of direct leakage into the water.
- This was achieved thanks to the participation and involvement of the community in the defense of their rights through demonstrations, sit-ins, camp settlements, signature of appeals addressed to authorities, legal complaints and complaints before the CNDH.