The new title is still biased to the claimants. Should I recall that the claim is not against Jinko but Government, therefore we believe something like this would be more accurate “Mayan campaigners fight against the federal government and the local mayan communities to halt a solar project led by Jinko Solar that has all permits approved”
Also when you refer to the Revision Appeal, it would be worth to say that although it was granted in January 2020 permitting the company to continue work on the project, Jinko has not resumed the works.
We want to thank you for the opportunity for us to refute the information in the article you plan to publish. The draft as currently worded in the article is factually inaccurate, fallacious, biased and misleading. Jinko Solar (“Jinko”) is a socially responsible company that complies with local and federal laws as well as international treaties wherever it operates business, including Mexico. Below please find our comments and responses to the draft article in connection with Cuncunul Project (the “Project”).
Jinko and the project company have been in compliance with all local and federal laws and regulations and have obtained all the government and regulatory permits required to develop, finance, build, construct and operate the Project. Specifically, conditions as required legally and regulatorily, including mitigation and compensatory requirements (among others, monitoring of fauna and flora, maintaining an ecological reserve of 15% of the project area throughout the life of the Project, good care of protected species as well as reforestation plans) are all complied.
Neither Jinko nor the project company have been sued. The plaintiffs' claim is against the government authorities responsible for issuing permits for the Project. As a socially responsible company, we have halted construction since the allegation was brought forward. We have cooperated with the relevant government agencies in resolving the issue and have voluntarily appeared in the lawsuit as a third party in defending the Project. While court’s final decision has not yet been rendered, the allegation is subjective and bears no ground to reflect facts in our view.
The Project is located on private lands in the community of Ebtún, Valladolid. The Ministry of Energy determined that the only communities that may be affected are Ebtún and Cuncunul and permitted the Project to proceed accordingly after explicit consent from these two communities were obtained. It is worth noting that the plaintiffs are not members from either of these two communities.
The cenote is in fact outside the perimeters of the Project. In addition, there are no records, evidence, or proof that the cenote has been used for at least the last 50 years. According to studies conducted by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (“INAH”), inside the cenote there is fungus virus called histoplasma that causes a disease (histoplasmosis), which is fatal and can cause death. As such, human access to the cenote is not recommended. INAH requires a series of protection measures, which are fully complied by Jinko and the project company. These measures include a security perimeter between the cenote and the Project and at least one access to the cenote outside the project perimeters such that access to the cenote is not affected.
Regarding the Free, Prior, and Informed Consultation (CPLI, by its Spanish acronym) process: o During a period of approximately 2 years, Jinko conducted social field work and held meetings with representatives and people from the communities of Ebtún and Cuncunul. Social Impact Assessment (EVIS by its Spanish acronym) was completed and presented to the Ministry of Energy and was subsequently approved. The approval determined that Cuncunul and Ebtún were the only communities that may be affected by the Project and required CPLI to be performed. Subsequently, the CPLI was initiated. It took approximately one year and more than 20 meetings were held with the communities. The entire process was organized orderly and transparently by the Ministry of Energy, without the presence and interference from Jinko. Furthermore, the process was closely monitored by other government entities such as the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (CDI, now INPI) and the Undersecretary of Energy of Yucatan Government. The Institute for the Development of the Mayan Culture of the Yucatan State (INDEMAYA, by its Spanish acronym) acted as translator throughout the process. o The CPLI process was completed with signature of a series of agreements between the communities of Ebtún and Cuncunul and Jinko, whereby the communities officially authorized the Project, along with Jinko’s commitments to share part of the benefits of the Project to improve socially the lives for the people of the communities during the construction and operation of the Project. o This process complied with all the requirements of Mexican regulations and ILO Convention 169. The process was conducted and completed in full compliance with the requirement of a prior, free, informed, culturally appropriate, and good faith process.
The construction of the Project did not begin until more than 6 months after the completion of the CPLI, until all the environmental, social, anthropological and energy permits as required by federal, state, and local levels were duly obtained.
The judicial process to date is as follows: o The district judge determined the definitive suspension of the construction, for the duration of the trial and until such time as he ruled on the merits of the case. Jinko complied with the decision and suspended construction. Jinko filed a Revision Appeal before a collegiate court on May 8th, 2019, which subsequently ruled in favor of Jinko on Jan 23, 2020. The resolution authorizes Jinko to resume the works on Project, despite the work has not been reassumed by Jinko at this time. The trial is at a procedural stage of gathering testimonies and evidence, so there is no ruling.
It should be noted that the communities of Ebtún and Cuncunul publicly demonstrated their support to the Project and their representatives have appeared in the litigation process as interested third parties in support of the Project.
In addition, representatives of the communities have publicly requested the plaintiffs and Muuch Xiimbal a dialogue to understand their positions. This dialogue has been rejected by the plaintiffs.
Jinko also reached out to Muuch Xiimbal to understand their reasons and positions and to explain the benefits of the Project for local development, for the State of Yucatan and for Mexico. However, the request for dialogue was refused. Finally, we reiterate that Jinko has complied in the development and construction of the Project with all local, state, and federal laws as well as with ILO Convention 169, is a socially responsible company and has abided with any decision or measure imposed by the judicial authorities.