Six weeks ago we completed our first video advocacy training in Mexico as part of our global campaign on Forced Evictions.  The workshop took place in a charming convent in Mexico City and, for nine intense days, we and our partners at HIC worked with 11 activists/leaders from four local communities whose rights are either being compromised or violated by large-scale dams and other mega-development projects (see photos of the training here).

Since then, our partners have been hard at work starting the implementation of their Video Action Plans – identifying interviewees, devising shot lists, refining their strategy and messages, and reaching out to allies who can help with production and targeted distribution.

Yesterday, many of them took to the streets to mark the International Day of Action Against Dams and For Rivers, Water, Life.  According to the MAPDER (Mexican Movement of Dam-Affected Communities and in Defense of Rivers), thousands of families are at risk eviction in Mexico due to the planned construction of more than 350 dams throughout the country.

Our partners in Guerrero state – where 25,000 people are at direct risk of losing their homes and lands to the construction of the La Parota Dam – used their new camera and editing skills to shoot a symbolic protest of children from the community.  The video captures powerful testimony from 10-year-old Ramón, who asks how the community is expected to survive without their river and vows to fight to protect it.  Watch below:


Stay tuned for more updates on the campaigns in Mexico as they unfold and learn more about WITNESS’ campaign on Forced Evictions here.

One thought on “Mexico: Children Protest La Parota Dam

  1. Facinating Article.

    Belo Monte is only a small part of development-induced displacement in Amazon Region. The situation in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru is even worse. Bogumil Terminski estimates that forcible “development-induced displacement and resettlement” now affects 10 million people per year.

    India is well ahead in this respect. A country with as many as over 3600 large dams within its belt can never be the exceptional case regarding displacement. The number of development induced displacement is higher than the conflict induced displacement worldwide.

    Athough the exact number of development-induced displaced people (DIDPs) is difficult to know, estimates are that in the last decade 90–100 million people have been displaced by urban, irrigation and power projects alone, with the number of people displaced by urban development becoming greater than those displaced by large infrastructure projects (such as dams). DIDPs outnumber refugees, with the added problem that their plight is often more concealed.
    This is what experts have termed “development-induced displacement.” According to Michael Cernea, a World Bank analyst, the causes of development-induced displacement include water supply (dams, reservoirs, irrigation); urban infrastructure; transportation (roads, highways, canals); energy (mining, power plants, oil exploration and extraction, pipelines); agricultural expansion; parks and forest reserves; and population redistribution schemes.

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