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Earthquakes & conflict linked to fracking, Nuevo Leon, Mexico


In August 2014, the Mexican government passed secondary legislature to their recent energy reforms that further opens the door to foreign companies wanting to work in the country's energy sector. This includes the US-Mexican Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement, which allows US and Mexican companies to jointly exploit resources in marine areas shared by the two countries (6). the most attention is focused on the Burgos Basin, which spans the states of Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Nuevo León. This basin yields two-thirds of all Mexico’s natural gas production currently. These reforms sparked preventative protests in July of 2014, in which farmers and activists marched to the capital and blocked major highways (3, 4).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Earthquakes & conflict linked to fracking, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
State or province:Nuevo Leon
Location of conflict:Las Enramadas; Garza Gonzalez
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Shale gas fracking
Specific commodities:Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

-up to 20,000 wells expected to be drilled in Burgos Basin

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project800,000,000
Affected Population:2-4,000,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2013
Company names or state enterprises:PEMEX from Mexico
Halliburton from United States of America
Schlumberger from United States of America
Relevant government actors:Mexican Senate;
Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Comité Ecológico Pro Bienestar;
Mexican Alliance against Fracking
Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
communal-land owners
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Other Environmental impactsincreased seismic activity; earthquakes
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactscosts associated with damage from earthquakes
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:The Mexican Alliance against Fracking and the Comité Ecológico Pro Bienestar have both delivered petitions demanding a fracking ban. Other activists call for a determination of who will be responsible for costs incurred by earthquake damages.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Though fracking activities are underway and the petitions have not been responded to, resistance is ongoing.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Mexico's secondary legislation on energy reform
[click to view]

Mexico Energy Reform, 2013
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

6. Fracking Frenzy: How the fracking industry is threatening the planet? (upcoming report)

5. Fracking Fights Loom Large in Mexico, Part IV- article
[click to view]

1. Temor por el uso del fracking en Nuevo León- article
[click to view]

4. Fracking Fights Loom Large in Mexico- article
[click to view]

2. Los temblores causados por el fracking ya causaron daño en una primaria de NL- article
[click to view]

3. Tapping Mexico's Shale Gas Resources' Future Promise and Practical Challenges- article
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1706
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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