Alternative World Water Forum

In the year 2014, with the Enrique Peña Nieto Government announcement of the New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM) construction project reactivation in the Texcoco Lake, those of us who integrate the “Original inhabitants and NGOs eastern State of Mexico coordination in defense of land, water and culture” (Coordinadora de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Oriente del Estado de México en Defensa de la Tierra, el Agua y su Cultura) and as Nahua People of the Valley of Mexico are part of the National Indigenous Congress, raise our voices to emphasize the negative impact that this would mean, because it is a project that would centralize the service at a single airport, disabling the existing Airport System in the central region of the country and causing the Texcoco Lake death, -a site of very high historical value, symbol of the nation, natural rain water and temperature controller and ecological balance axis for the entire Mexico Valley basin (climate change and global warming), place of nesting and reproduction of thousands of migrating birds and harvesting of nutritional ancestral treasures such as Spirulina, the ahuautle, the tequexquite and earth salt- in addition to pollution by waste, smog and noise; the devastation of plants and animals endemic species; sanctuaries destruction, sacred hills and their archaeological wealth, including the prehistoric strip of the lake shore; the pipelining of rivers and springs; the paving of the vegetal layer that would prevent rainwater filtration to recharge aquifers; the intense use of electricity; the over-population; the construction of housing units, shopping malls, industrial and wind power parks, solar panel farms, gas pipelines, gigantic landfills and incinerators; the loss of food sovereignty and local trade; the breakdown of the social tissue; over-exploitation of earth natural resources and climate disaster, condemning ejidos (public common lands), indigenous communities and original nahua peoples heirs of the ancient wisdom, such as traditional medicine and our nahuatl mother tongue, to poverty, displacement and extinction; as well as the collapse of the very Mexico city.

From that time onwards, we have worked tirelessly and by our own means, to inform and contribute to the people awareness on the false progress discourse and the serious Airport project construction effects (NAICM); additionally, with the help of first level solidarity scientists from our country and abroad, have managed to demonstrate based on specialized studies its non-viability in a highly seismic zone, three times saltier than sea water, which is also the lowest point of the Valley of Mexico Basin and with an imminent risk of sinking and flooding.

But the Mexico City Airport Group and the Federal Government seemed unwilling to hear and despite our warnings and recommendations, initiated the New Airport works and the connectivity works, hand in hand with speculation, deception, the fraudulent assemblies, land dispossession, illegal appropriation of hundreds of hectares which affected the ejidal and communal life of the peoples; homes demolition, repression and violent evictions of ejidal camps that were defending their territory, the government used this purpose security forces (army, navy, police and the PRI paramilitary Antorcha Campesina groups), with the complicity of institutions such as SCT, CONAGUA, SEMARNAT, CFE, SEDATU, INAH, State and Municipal governments, agricultural authorities and related Ejido commissaries and delegates.

Also initiated the land leveling for runways construction, which consisted of the removal of the natural Texcoco Lake soil and toxic sludge sediments removal from Mexico City open drains that over decades CONAGUA has been depositing there together with rubble and other debris from buildings and hospitals that collapsed during de 1985 earthquake. There are millions of tons of these debris, that thousands of trucks and trailers carried away and which were used to fill old mines tunnels in the mountain area of Texcoco and other neighboring fraternal towns, contaminating crop lands and ground water aquifers. In addition, hundreds of hills of the basin were dynamited and devastated for the extraction of materials such as volcanic rock, basalt, and tepetate, to be used as soil replacement, causing irreversible environmental damage to the lake bed and its surroundings. Deforestation and destruction of natural vegetation continues and the concrete pouring in the river channels, as well as cutting, stripping and bring down trees, with the introduction of invasive alien species to Mexico, among other crimes.

In 2015 we continued our organizational effort creating the Non-parties Wide Front against the New Airport and other Mega-projects in Mexico’s Valley and in 2016, our struggle against the new six runway airport construction in Texcoco Lake basin, joined the Global Action against Aviation Expansion and the construction of more airports in the world, because it is the most atmosphere polluting industry on the planet, the one with highest energy consumption and the primary responsible for climate change; in addition to the fight against the use of biofuels.

In that same year 2016, we also alerted on the Precautionary Principle which as being part of the international treaties signed by Mexico, already has constitutional category within the country; as well as the debt derived from the mega-project and our founded fear that it would fall upon the people of Mexico, reason why we delivered letters to foreign banks main offices and representations in Mexico that were to finance the megaproject, and express our disagreement over irresponsible Government borrowing and the risks implied by the investments that as financial institutions decided to make through loans and bond issues for the construction of the New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM) and requesting them not to make any more loans to the then Mexican federal Government, whose payment neither future Governments nor the people of Mexico would guarantee, as they would doom our people to live in indefinite misery, for payment and the high debt cost together with the existing serious corruption in the funds management and project costs increase, as we were sure, would not be respected, but would significantly increase, as it has happened in Latin America and other parts of the world such as in Greece, Spain and Argentina, although in Mexico we already have a FOBAPROA whereby the Government obliges the people to pay the debts of private companies and their own. So the NAICM investing banks were warned!

By 2017, the over-costs, corruption and project delays were evident, so the Federal Government enabled 14 kilometers of track-roads and a freight train to accelerate the work and avoid the possible New Airport cancellation; but the rainy season and the September 19 quake confirmed the inevitable, its resounding failure.

This 2018, we were received by the North America, Central America and the Caribbean regional headquarters, of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO-ICAO), where in writing and verbally we denounced that the New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM), mega-project, does not follow actual needs, but a business cause of business economic groups and political power; as well as irreversible damage to ecosystems, the environment, climate change, Earth’s atmosphere pollution and the planet ozone layer; providing Aeronautics industry data showing that New Airport has errors in its design and planning and does not meet international safety, efficacy and environment impact standards which are the ICAO ICAO-UN responsibility to monitor and enforce.

On the other hand, we attended the 8th edition of the World Social Forum on migration, where we also denounce our problematical and the looming threat of our peoples forced displacement by the folly and imposition of the New Airport construction, the Aerotropolis and associated works, in the Valley of Mexico.

Additionally, we presented a writing to the SEMARNAT head, with copy to the then still President Enrique Peña Nieto and other involved agencies of the three Government levels, asking them the following: Who will answer and compensate the environmental impact of the New Airport construction to our lands and ancestral territories, natural resources and historical, archaeological and cultural heritage that was invaded, stripped, contaminated and destroyed; violating our interests, human rights and self-governing fundamental rights of ownership and possession as original peoples, communities and neighborhoods?

Finally, given the media consultation illegality to give a way out to the Peña Nieto Government of not admitting his failure with the New Airport project construction in the Texcoco Lake, due to the complicated terrain conditions and geological terrain and cost duplication; and the current Federal Government and the Mexico City Airport Group statements that the NAICM construction work in the Texcoco Lake would continue “until the project is once again reviewed, its advances and negotiate with creditors and investors the debt bonds”, we were forced to add a legal tool to our struggle, for which we constituted the Foundation: Life, Nature and Legacy of the Valley of Mexico, A.C. and certified before a notary public the opinions of professionals and other supporting documents, with the solidarity and support of the “Movimiento de Abogados Insumisos Zapatistas” (Movement of Non-submissive Zapatist Lawyers, by its spanish acronym-MAIZ) and in our capacity as members of the Foundation and the Valley of Mexico indigenous Nahua peoples, Acolhua descendants, filing an environmental criminal lawsuit before the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), – which has already been admitted – against the Mexico City Airport Group, S.A. de C.V., the National Water Commission, the Secretariat of Communications and Transport, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural resources, as well as who or those result responsible, for crimes committed against the Environment and the Environmental management.

In accordance with the Constitution article 4th on Environmental Damage Liability, we ask and urge the judge, to provide instructions where relevant, so that New Mexico City International Airport works that are being carried out in the Texcoco Lake area are suspended, due to environmental crimes it implies, and through this environmental criminal lawsuit, the NAICM mega-project is definitely cancelled at any point in the Valley of Mexico and the rest of the country, as it is demonstrably UNVIABLE, UNNECESSARY, ECOCIDE and UNAFFORDABLE. Contemplating the recovery of the entire System of Lakes of the Valley of Mexico and return to the condition as they were, since for us the non-parties and anti-capitalists a lake, the rivers, the trees, the water, the air and our capacity of producing healthy food and medicinal plants, as well as our history and culture, are of immeasurable value.

The Texcoco Lake deserves to live, because it mirrors the homeland, the nation was born in it and must remain being a Lake and its rivers recovered and re-hydrated, to bring life back to the entire valley of Mexico.

Valley of Mexico, December 11, 2018.

Categories: Global stories

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