Farmers Ask Lack of Rain to be Investigated

Farmers Ask Lack of Rain to be Investigated

You look at the sky, the clouds are black, and weather conditions indicate it will storm. Suddenly, one or more planes fly low, and the clouds turn white and disappear. This is what residents of the community of San Antonio, on the road to Doctor Mora, say they have observed. The flyovers started last year, they say, and citizens of the community claim that this has reduced rainfall, thus negatively impacting area farmers and ranchers. Citizens concerned about this alleged weather modification have come together and are looking for answers. Whose aircraft are these, where do they come from, where are they going, who gave them permission to fly, and are they trying to control the weather? The group of concerned citizens from San Miguel de Allende, San José Iturbide, and Doctor Mora continues to grow. They contend that the culprit is Mexsolar, a solar energy farm developed in the area last year.


The clouds—an obstacle


Mexsolar, is located between San Miguel and Doctor Mora in the community of San Rafael. The San Miguel city council gave the green light to the plant in June 2017, and it began operating in 2018. It was reported that plant owner, X-Elio, invested 1.2 billion pesos in construction and that the plant would generate 60 megawatts of power.  According to minutes taken in the town hall that were provided to Atención, the energy generated can power up to half a million street lights, such as for public lighting. San Miguel has 12,500 such lights. 


During our last week’s visit to the Mexsolar plant, staff explained that solar plant production decreases when it is cloudy. During our visit, which was on a cloudy day, we saw a low-flying plane going in a straight line. When we asked plant personnel about airplanes and climate control, they explained that X-Elio is headquartered in Mexico City and that it would be very difficult for them to provide information. The Mexsolar plant staff indicated that they have nothing to do with the planes and that they do not know why they are being blamed for lack of rain. The staff told us that the 60 megawatts of electricity it generates is delivered to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). 


We want answers


Attorney Alfredo Arias owns agricultural land in San José Iturbide, which borders on San Miguel. He told us that last year during the rainy season, unmarked white planes began to fly overhead. This year the same thing happened, he said, and citizens believed that the flights took place when clouds indicated it would rain. He said that after one or more planes flew by (in a straight line or in circles), the clouds dispersed, and it didn’t rain. Arias indicated that this year they concluded that again no water is accumulating, that the dams are not full, and there is no water flowing under bridges or into tanks.


The scarcity of water prevents crops and pasture land for cattle from growing. The animals lose weight and must be sold at a lower price. Farmers cannot grow corn or beans because of the lack of rainfall. “We are suspicious of the planes,” said Arias. “Since Mexsolar was installed, they have been releasing some chemical [into the clouds], which modifies the climate, making it not rain.”


Now a group representing several area communities has formed to create social awareness of what they believe is happening. The group is attempting to attract the attention of the government at the federal, state, and local levels. The group wants an investigation into the aircraft. Who allows them to fly? Where do they come from, and where do they go? Why don’t they have identification markings? What damage are they causing to the environment? If their suspicions are substantiated, this is a federal crime that must be investigated by the attorney general’s Office. To get involved, you can reach Arias and his group by phoning 419 1912 164.


We contacted Armando Gómez, country manager from X-Elio Mexico, who denied all accusations: “We categorically deny the theory about our alleged involvement in a method whose technical feasibility is not founded and which also goes against our business principles—to generate renewable energy with the intention of protecting the environment. Under no circumstances do we use our own or contracted aircraft to carry out operations, maintenance, or any other activity related to our photovoltaic generation plants. We found the argument absurd, and we reinforced our commitment to the communities surrounding our plants. X-ELIO always maintains objectives of the highest priority of social responsibility.”


On the other hand Atención contacted Manuel Hernández, regulation manager of the Mexican Association of Solar Energy (ASOLMEX). In a brief call, he clarified that it is the first time that he has heard about a subject like that in the city.


We also talked to Robert Lerner, biologist, technologist, and former board president of Caminos de Agua, who said the following: “I don’t know of any chemicals that stop the rain; it’s a wild conspiracy theory. The cost of sending airplanes to blow away clouds, even if there was a way to do it—which I don’t think there is—would exceed whatever value they could get from those (solar) cells. There is drought everywhere, and it is a consequence of climate change. The issue of airplanes and chemicals is a conspiracy theory that should not be supported or promoted, and I defer to astronomer Carl Sagan who said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” These people made an extraordinary claim, and they provided no evidence at all.”