Victory for Guatemala’s Mayan People over Hydroelectric Plants*
Fierce opposition to hydroelectric plants in Guatemala have been ongoing since October of last year.
Guatemala’s Supreme Court has suspended the construction of two major hydroelectric plants fiercely opposed by the region’s Mayan people.
Citing irregularities in the community consultation process, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), Silvia Patricia Valdés, ruled against the construction of the Oxec I and Oxec II hydroelectric plants. Until that issue is resolved, she said, the operation remains suspended.
For its part, the company claimed to be “very surprised by the decision” since it had carried out the consultation “fulfilling all the requirements of the law.”
“In any case we are waiting to be notified of this resolution,” it added.
Opposition to those and other projects have been ongoing since October of last year.
At the time, Indigenous people from the department of Alta Verapaz, in the north of Guatemala, marched to the capital to denounce a group of companies that had practically exhausted the entire Cahabon River, leaving the community without access to water.
Women from along the Cahabón River demonstrate in Guatemala City on October 17 by holding inverted water containers to symbolize the privatization of their water. (Prensa Comunitaria/Nelton Rivera)
The community took that fight to the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala to denounce the environmental impact of those hydroelectric plants.
The company is owned by the president of the Real Madrid Club, Florentino Pérez, who diverted the river channels and now affects the populations of the Alta Verapaz department.
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