Coinciding with the International Environment Day, the Bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Escondido, Pedro Vasquez Villalobos, conducted a Mass in which he expressed the full support of the diocese to the community of Paso de la Reina and other communities organized in the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER). In relation to their resistance to the construction of the Paso de la Reina Hydroelectric Dam, in the Municipality of Jamiltepec, Oaxaca he stresses: “I say to those who live here and are doing an effort to protect this river and the land, feel our support … our spiritual presence and strength of will because we are united to you, saying NO to the construction of the dam at Paso de la Reina … We are united with you, it is an union of the Church with you … “.
The bishop noted that the project violates the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people and stressed the importance of the river to the lives and development of communities that benefit from it:“You are the guardians of water, plants, animals, and the land they inhabit,” said the bishop in reference to the Indians, “rightful owners of these lands and territories”.
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For more information on Paso de la Reina see: Community Defenders Celebrate 4th Anniversary Blockade of Proposed Hydroelectric Project on Oaxacan Coast, Supplies reach Paso de la Reina