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Opponents of the power plant reject consultation. Opponents of the power plant reject consultation.

Thermal plant opponents reject consultation, criticize AMLO for flip-flop

Environmentalists had expected to find an ally in the president

An environmental organization in Morelos has unequivocally rejected President López Obrador’s public consultation on the Huesca thermal power plant in Yecapixtla, Morelos.

The People’s Council in Defense of Air, Water and Land, an umbrella group of several different organizations, said it remained opposed to the project regardless of the outcome of the vote.

Organization leaders Jaime Domínguez Pérez and Teresa Castellanos told a press conference that they were surprised and angered by what they see as López Obrador’s flip-flop: in 2014 he said that building the plant would be like “putting a garbage dump in Jerusalem.”

They said they had hoped for an ally in the president and had expected him to announce the project’s cancellation and designation of the site as the location of a new public university.

The two said the consultation aims to make a mockery of their seven-year-long fight.

Castellanos said residents have seen an increase in respiratory problems, pinkeye, rhinitis, hearing damage, cancer and genetic mutations, all of which have been corroborated by studies conducted by academics and civil organizations. She added that large numbers of fish and birds have turned up dead near the plant.

The opponents of the project plan to present their demands Sunday when the president is scheduled to visit Cuautla, and invite him to drink a glass of water from the area surrounding the plant and observe its effects. Those usually include intense vomiting and nausea, they said.

López Obrador has promised that the 20-billion-peso plant (US $1 billion) will be clean and that its operation will include a water quality certification by the National Water Commission.

He stressed that the project could provide cheap electricity for the entire state of Morelos, but he also said he would respect the outcome of the consultation.

The vote will be held on February 24 and 25 in more than 70 municipalities in Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Financiero (sp)

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