PBI-Guatemala accompanies Maya Ch’orti’ visits to state institutions to demand closure of projects lacking their consent

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On December 3, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted, “Today PBI accompanied Nuevo Día to different state institutions in Chiquimula, San Juan Ermita, Camotán and Jocotán where they requested the absolute closure of projects that have been installed illegally and without the consent of the communities.”

These photos from the Nuevo Dia Facebook page show the 5-page document delivered to the state institutions.

A Nuevo Dia post notes: “Electro Ruta, Trecsa, Corredor Interoceanico, the exploitation of illegal mining, as well as an unknown company dedicated to the felling of the communal forest of Lela Obraje Pajcó, Tapuán, and the volcano of the municipality of Camotán.”

Electoruta refers to “an electric power transmission project” and Tresca is an electrical company that provides energy to mining projects (concerns have been cited over deforestation and exploitation of water resources).

With respect to the felling of forests, The Guardian has reported, “Forests mitigate climate change, but Guatemala has lost half its woodlands in the past 40 years – and deforestation rates are rising, in turn causing floods, landslides and erosion of farmland.”

That article also notes, “In the peasant farming communities around Camotán, water storage is scarce, and the Maya Ch’orti’ people who live here mostly rely on rainfall to irrigate their crops. Most houses have no toilets, and low water reserves mean most families drink and cook with contaminated stream water.”

The Nuevo Dia website notes, “We combine efforts to defend the territory still occupied by Ch’orti’ families. We are also known for articulating the proposal for the rural economic recovery in the eastern part of Guatemala.”

It adds, “We develop actions that allow the autonomy required for the Good Living of the Ch’orti’ People and their territorial co-inhabitants.”

PBI-Guatemala Project has accompanied Nuevo Dia since 2009.

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