Guatemala: Indigenous communities displaced by the construction of Chixoy hydroelectric dam demand reparations

Author: Al Jazeera, Published on: 16 April 2019

“Displaced indigenous Guatemala war survivors demand reparations”, 3rd April 2019

…Hundreds of indigenous Achi Mayan survivors, forced to leave their homes by the construction of Chixoy hydroelectric dam in the 1980s, mobilised outside the Guatemalan presidential palace…to demand that the government comply with a 2014 agreement to pay reparations for their displacement…The construction of the World Bank and IMF-backed hydroelectric project displaced more than 3,000 families in 33 communities between 1977 and 1983 in the Guatemalan departments of Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz and Quiche. The families were left without land and in poverty…Residents were left without avenues to demand their rights until years after the signing of the peace accords in 1996 that ended the 36-years of war. In 2004, the communities began to organise to demand reparations for their suffering…A plan was developed and signed by former President Otto Perez Molina in 2014 to provide $154.5m in reparations to the victims of the construction of the dam. The plan included paving roads, building health centres and schools, along with other projects…The survivors argue that the Morales administration has failed to advance on the plan. Residents continue to live in poverty and lack basic services, including electricity…


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