PBI-Guatemala accompanied UVOC draws attention to climate change and dam on the Polochic River
The Verapaz Union of Campesino Organizations (UVOC) is an Indigenous and peasant organization dedicated to the defence and promotion of access to land for the peasant population in the departments of Alta and Baja Verapaz.
UVOC has 367 affiliated communities (about 50,000 families), 98 percent of which are Indigenous Maya Q’eqchi’, Poqomchi’ and Achi.
“Climate change [puts] the lives of ecosystems, communities and q’eqchi’s and poqomchi’ peoples in Alta Verapaz at risk. The main causes of this are megaprojects including hydroelectric, mining and monocultures. That is why the peasants and indigenous peoples of the Verapaces must unite as movements to definitively curb the death projects that are generating global warming.”
UVOC also posted this 1:42 minute video on Facebook along with the text:
“50 Mayan families q’eqchi’ of the Chitun community in San Miguel Tucuru, demand that Mr. Juan Luis Bosch president of the Santa Teresa Hydroelectric Plant return the land where they lived, since they were taken from them since they were imposed on them the project that works with a capacity of 24 megawatts with which they divert the Polochic River.”
On its webpage about the Santa Teresa Hydroelectric Plant, CMI Energia notes: “Located in the municipality of San Miguel Tucurú, Alta Verapaz. This central uses the strength of the Polochic river, has the capacity to generate 16 MW.”
It also notes that the plant began operating in 2011.
PBI-Guatemala has been accompanying UVOC since 2005, following threats and serious intimidation against some of its members. In the few last years the accompaniment of UVOC has been extended to some of the communities that the UVOC advises, with PBI carrying out regular visits with them.