Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pemex Will Drill for Oil in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas

From: Mexico’s Energy Secretary, Georgina Kessel Martinez, announced this month that in 2009 Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will solicit bids for oil drilling contracts in southeastern Mexico, including Chiapas. What was a bit surprising about her announcement was that she mentioned the Lacandon Jungle as one of the areas. After ecologists became alarmed, Kessel Martinez clarified that drilling would not take place in natural protected areas. As early as July/August 1996, Subcomandante Marcos asserted that a primary motive for the government’s counterinsurgency zeal had to do with oil and the fact that some of that oil was located right next door to the then Zapatista Aguascalientes (now a Zapatista Caracol) of La Garrucha, located in the canyons east of the city of Ocosingo, not a natural protected area. Another Zapatista area thought to contain oil is Amador Hernandez, deeper in the jungle and right on the edge of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve. Sometime toward the end of 2009 the bidding process will begin for oil exploration contracts. It will be interesting to see if Halliburton will try to expand its operations in Chiapas.

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