PBI-Guatemala to host screening of ‘La Sangre de la Tierra’ documentary on February 13

Published by Brent Patterson on

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The Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project will be hosting a screening of ‘La Sangre de la Tierra’ (The Blood of the Earth) in Guatemala City on Thursday February 13.

The documentary film by Félix Zurita tells the story of community resistance to hydroelectric dams. Specifically, opposition to the Puebla 1 dam in Mexico, Los Planes in Honduras, and the Renace and Oxec dams in Guatemala.

The trailer for the film can be seen here.

As noted on the PBI-Guatemala Facebook event page for the screening, there will be a public forum following the screening including two representatives of Nuevo Dia (‘New Day’ Ch’orti’ Campesino Central Coordinator).

PBI has accompanied Nuevo Dia since 2009.

In terms of the dams featured in the film, PBI-Guatemala has previously pointed out, “On the Cahabón River and its tributaries Oxec, Canlich and Chiacté, seven hydroelectric plants currently operate: Renace I, II, III, IV, Oxec, Oxec II, and Chichaic.”

The two most recently completed dams are Oxec II which began operation in September 2018 and Renace IV which became operational in January 2019.

Contrainformacion.es has noted, “The construction [of the Renace hydroelectric complex] is having a ‘serious impact on human rights’ for the 29,000 indigenous people living in this territory.” And the book Let’s free our rivers, highlights that the construction of many dams “seriously changes the fluvial ecosystem” around the riverbeds, “destroying habitats, modifying the flow and changing the basic water parameters.”

Telesur has also reported, “The communities claim the Oxec and Renace hydroelectric projects are illegal because the local Indigenous Q’eqchi’ peoples were not properly consulted and informed about it, as established by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization” and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

PBI-United Kingdom has posted, “In August 2017, PBI provided security support to the good-faith consultation in which the 195 communities of the Cahabón River overwhelmingly rejected the Oxec hydroelectric projects.”

Not long after that, in November 2018, Mayan Q’eqchi’ community leader Caal Xol was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison.

Telesur notes, “It was Caal Xol who filed three lawsuits against the Oxec construction company at different institutions, including accusations for failing to consult the local population, and illegally cutting down 15 hectares of trees.”

You can read more about the film on the Fundacion Luciernaga website.

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