NGOs Raise Alarm About Hydroelectric Dam in Guatemala
October 15th, 2014
In August of 2013, the community was attacked and two children were killed in retribution for human rights complaints filed by the community.
The Missionary Oblate JPIC Office has joined other international organizations in a letter of concern to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples about construction of the Santa Rita Hydroelectric Dam in Guatemala. The dam was registered as a project under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – established under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol – in June 2014. According to the letter, “Numerous violations against the indigenous Q’eqchi´ and Poqomchí communities have been reported prior to and since project approval, most recently in violent incidents from 14 to 16 August 2014 resulting in several injuries and deaths.”
The letter notes that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Rapporteur on indigenous peoples’ rights recognized “that the current licenses for mining and hydroelectric plants were granted without the State having implemented prior, free, and informed consultation with affected indigenous communities, as it is obligated to do under international treaties signed by Guatemala”.