Twenty houses were set on fire Wednesday as a dispute flared up over a proposed wind farm in the Oaxaca coastal municipality of San Francisco del Mar.
Municipal authorities and a community of fishermen are at odds over the Boca Barra wind farm, which was first proposed three years ago. The indigenous fishermen of Pueblo Viejo have strongly opposed it, refusing to give up 15,000 hectares of coastal land.
Yesterday, the municipal representative in Pueblo Viejo, Francisco Álvarez, led a group of supporters to the beach where they set fire to some 20 palapa-roofed houses belonging to the fishermen.
The latter filed a formal complaint and then proceeded to block access to Pueblo Viejo and cut off the town’s electrical power.
The fishermen claim that Álvarez wants to force them to leave the land so the municipality can grant it to the wind farm project. They also charged that Mayor Froylan Gaspar Pedro was behind the arson attack.
The municipality has claimed that the wind farm will be “for the benefit of all.”
The state deputy secretary for political development, Carlos Ramos, said his staff have traveled to the coastal municipality to arrange negotiations between both parties. Two previous attempts to negotiate a solution have failed.
No arrests were reported after the arson attack or the suspension of the town’s power supply.
Source: Milenio (sp)