“The Power to Defend Our Territory:” Indigenous Communities Win Consulation Law in Guatemala

November 19, 2015 Jeff Abbott 0

The Ixil communities’ victory against the expansion of hydro in their territory comes after a campaign by the communities to protect their rights as indigenous peoples to prior consultation in Guatemala’s courts. Furthermore, this victory, as well as other victories, sets a precedent that companies must consult communities, and receive the community’s consensus prior to any project.


Social Movement Leaders Cleared of False Femicide Charges in Guatemala

November 11, 2015 Jeff Abbott 0

Last month, Rogelio Velásquez and Saúl Méndez, active members and leaders of the defense of territory in northern Huehuetenango, were acquitted of charges of femicide. Their community of Santa Cruz Barillas has been in resistance to the Santa Cruz hydroelectric project under construction by the Spanish firm Ecoener Hydro Energy. They argue that the dam will greatly affect their land and water. The case against Velásquez and Méndez reflect the use of laws, such as Guatemala’s 2008 Law on Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women to criminalize the leaders of the social movements challenging the construction of mega-projects by transnational companies.


Alto Palma

Guatemalan Court Orders Palm Company to Suspend Operations

September 24, 2015 Jeff Abbott 0

A Guatemalan judge has ordered the oil palm company Reforestadora Palma de Petén S.A. (REPSA), to suspend operations at their Sayaxché palm plantation, pending an investigation into the environmental disaster in the Pasión River, which led to the death of millions of fish in May and June of 2015. Sayaxché community leader Roberto Lima Choc was assassinated the day after the judicial order.


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