Olinca Valeria Avilés Hernandez

Olinca Valeria Avilés Hernandez
Image Credit: © Olinca Valeria Avilés Hernandez

International Research Training Group "Between Spaces"

Movements, Actors and Representations of Globalisation

PhD Candidate

Field of Activity

Project: "The legitimation of the energy transition in Mexico. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec's wind power megaproject in the Binniza´a people and ejido communities"

Email oaviles@politicas.unam.mx

Since 2013

PhD candidate in Sociology, Political and Social Science Graduate Program, Faculty of Political and Social Science (FCPyS), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

2008 - 2010

Master´s Degree in Political and Social Studies, FCPyS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Graduate with honors. Thesis: 'Conflicts in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (2000-2010)', CONACyT scholarship holder

2000 - 2005

Undergraduate Degree in Sociology, FCPYS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Thesis: 'Wind power projects in the Puebla-Panama Plan: structural transformation in La Venta, Oaxaca'

Work experience

2006 - 2015

Term lecturer: 'Political Science in Mexico'. FCPyS-UNAM.

2006 - 2015

Term lecturer: 'Sociological Theory I'. FCPyS-UNAM.

2012 - 2013

Research Assistant: 'Integrative Sociology'. FCPyS-UNAM.


'Citizen perception about Transparency, Account and Fiscalization use of the Government budget in Mexico'. Research for the Auditoria Superior de la Federación, CEOP-UNAM.

2008 - 2010

Workshop 'Democracy and Territory', Faculty of Philosophy and Literature (FFyL), UNAM. Coord. by Prof. Dr. Mariflor Aguilar.

05/2009 - 08/2009

Research stay at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid / Faculty of Economic and Enterprise Science, Madrid, Spain. Supported by CONACyT.

“The legitimation of the energy transition in Mexico. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec's wind power megaproject in the Binniza´a people and ejido communities”

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Fernando Castañeda Sabido (UNAM)

The process of modernization in contemporary societies has certainly generated great benefits in many respects; however, it has also generated new problems like the greenhouse gases that alter the earth temperature, known widely as the Global Warming.

In attempts to solve this problem, we find, among others, the development of the so-called renewable energies. In Mexico, the government has promoted the diversification of the energy matrix through the development and rational exploitation of abundant natural resources.

This research focuses on wind power development in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a region that has shown a great potential for this kind of energy, but also where an important settlement of indigenous population as well as a delicate historical and political situation, exist.

The goal of this research is to explain how the political space has transformed since the incursion of wind power farms in three locations of the Isthmus of Thehuantepec: La Ventosa (an indigenous community); Unión Hidalgo (a mix of indigenous-non indigenous communities); and La Venta (a non indigenous community).

The central question of this research is focused on identifying how the political spaces are redefined in the three communities studied and who the main actors involved in this process are.

The initial hypothesis is that the wind power projects are redefining the political space in the communities of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in aspects not related to the environmental problem, but concerning the configuration of a global/local space that generates social inclusion/exclusion networks, de-structures social space, and defies the alleged benefits proposed by the energy companies.


  • (2013), 'El Istmo de Tehuantepec, un territorio en disputa. Proyectos de energía eólica y comunidades indígenas', in: Mariflor Aguilar Rivero, Olinca Valeria Avilés Hernández, Carlos Andrés Aguirre Álvarez (eds.): Ciudades rurales, comunidades intervenidas y espacios en conflicto, Juan Pablos Editor – UNAM.

  • (2011), 'El territorio y sus transformaciones', published by the newspaper Correo de Guanajuato, 26th of March 2011.

  • (2010), 'Conflictos territoriales y perspectivas de desarrollo de la energía eólica en el Istmo de Tehuantepec', in: Revista Mexicana de Opinión Pública, no. 9, FCPyS, UNAM, p. 67-79.