José Manuel Arias Rodríguez

Country of Origin:

WLS Award:


Graduate Program: Environment Certificate, Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana (FUNIBER) México, distance learning

Background & Goals: José Manuel Arias Rodríguez organizes and advocates for environmental justice in the Tabasco region of Mexico.

Here, he described his work: “I am a member of the Saint Thomas Ecological Association, which has been working on environmental protection activities for 15 years. We place a lot of emphasis on citizen monitoring of petroleum related activities. For the last two years we have been following companies that work with the state owned Petroleos Mexicanos regarding waste treatment. Our last case, which we have been working on since 2004, regards an irregular dump for dangerous waste where a treatment plant was going to be installed. We filed the necessary paperwork and the project has been stopped. The company has sued the community delegate and me for libel. In spite of this, we are still fighting. All of this has led us to prepare ourselves more. Thanks to the support from the Channel Foundation’s NLS program, I am able to take a diploma course in Environmental Consulting.”

Post-Degree Projects: In December 2007, The Ecological Association of Santo Tomas in collaboration with the Tabasco Human Rights Committee and the community of Los Aguilares had their submission to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation accepted by the International Secretariat in Canada, which has since issued a determination requesting a response from Mexico.