PBI-Guatemala accompanies the Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón in community visits on the Oxec III hydroelectric dam
On February 20, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project has posted on its Facebook page, “These days we witness different activities of the Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón in the communities of Caserio Las Tres Cruces, Sacta, Cheslau, Tzacpec and San Martin Chichaj, among others.”
“We accompany a meeting in the municipality of Cahabón to present a series of petitions to the vice-mayor and the council of the municipality.”
PBI-Guatemala adds, “Among others, the members of the Resistance request that the consultation be recognized in good faith, held in August 2017. It also demands that the municipality does not grant the license for the construction of the Oxec III project without prior, free and informed consultation to the affected communities.”
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.
And PBI-United Kingdom has explained, “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.”
Numerous concerns have been raised about these dams, including their impacts on the river, tributaries and ecosystems. Indigenous peoples have stated that the dams are illegal because they were not properly consulted or informed about them as required under the ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Peace Brigades international-Guatemala Project has accompanied the Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón since July 2017.