PBI-Guatemala accompanies Nuevo Dia in defence of territory against ElectroRuta-Trecsa projects
On January 17, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted, “Yesterday we accompanied members of Nuevo Dia [CCCDN] in an assembly in the community of Salitrón, San Juan Ermita, Chiquimula. They and they are defending their territory that is threatened by projects of the company ElectroRuta – Trecsa.”
The Electroruta website notes, “The company was established on October 6, 1999 with the purpose of carrying out activities related to the transportation of power and associated energy in the Guatemalan electricity market. The operation of the projects carried out has the backing of Corporación EEGSA, which has more than 120 years of experience distributing electricity in Guatemala, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez.”
And a February 2015 Guatemalan Human Rights Commission article notes “heightened tension in San Pedro Ayampuc as communities reject the installation of a substation by electrical company Trecsa. Community members argue that the company provides energy to contentious mining projects in the area, and cite concerns over deforestation and exploitation of water resources.”
The Front Line Defenders Global Analysis 2019 report released this week noted, “In Guatemala, members of the Nuevo Dia Chorti Indigenous Association (CCCDN) were subjected to numerous attacks, intimidation and attempts to divide the community, when they were portrayed as taking advantage of their leadership roles for personal gain.”
That report adds, “CCCDN provides support to Maya Chorti communities whose way of life is at risk due to hydroelectric and mining projects being implemented on their territories.”
The Chʼortiʼ people are one of the indigenous Maya peoples, who primarily reside in communities and towns situated in southeastern Guatemala, northwestern Honduras, and northern El Salvador.
PBI-Guatemala has previously explained, “CCCDN work in the four Ch’orti’ municipalities in the east of the country – Camotán, Jocotán, Olopa and La Unión – in the department of Chiquimula.”
“The work of CCCDN revolves around the defence of the territory and its main concerns and actions focus on the impacts of projects and megaprojects on the environment and local economies.”
“Several of its members have received threats, including death threats, suffered intimidation and attacks due to their work in the communities.”
PBI-Guatemala has accompanied Nuevo Dia since 2009.