by: J. Pierce with info from the Fidencio Aldama Solidarity Group
Fidencio Aldama is an Indigenous land defender from the Yaqui pueblos in southern Sonora. Serving a fifteen-and-a-half year sentence on false charges, he was first locked up on the 27th of October 2016. They convicted him of murder. But the real murderers are hiding in plain sight. They are the pipeline developers.
The community of Loma de Bácum, Fidencio’s adopted pueblo since 2009, has stood in resistance to this particular fossil fuel tentacle since its inception. Sometimes called the Sonora Gas Pipeline and other times called the Agua Prieta Pipeline, the proposed pipeline intends to move liquified natural gas (LNG) which is mostly methane from Arizona into Sonora and on south to Sinaloa. Supposedly the Yaqui community of Loma de Guamúchil, Fidencio’s home pueblo, voted in favor of the pipeline and its not clear whether the other 6 Yaqui pueblos have voted in favor or against. Thus, Loma de Bácum stands as one of the last bulwarks against it.
Sempra Energy, headquartered in San Diego and Houston, and their subsidiary in Mexico, Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (“IEnova”) are the forces arrayed against the people of southern Sonora. And as fossil fuels are often intertwined with war, it only makes sense that this U.S. energy company would take hostages.
In pushing forward this project, the communities have been pitted against each other as police, armed thugs, etc. have been at the heart of several violent incidents. In one of the incidents, the one of 21 October 2016, a group of armed men entered the community assembly, violence broke out and Cruz Buitimea Piñas was killed. Days later, Fidencio Aldama was framed for his death. Fidencio was a part of the community’s guard and had been a prominent participant in the resistance in defense of his pueblo; so it is no wonder that the State has chosen him as its hostage.
This proposed pipeline is favored by President López Obrador as one of the many intrusive projects he needs to have built in order to generate profits for the ruling class. Ironically and tragically, including most notably, the proposed Tren Maya in Southern Mexico, López Obrador seems to be imposing these projects on indigenous communities despite his being elected in a massive democratic revolution with the exact opposite mandate – the protection of Mexico and the respect of indigenous communities.
Supporters of working people and indigenous communities are called upon to demand the release of Fidencio Aldama and to halt all mega-projects that threaten the integrity of indigenous land.
Cancel the gas pipeline! Free Fidencio Aldama!
For more information: Fidencio Aldama Solidarity Group