PBI-Guatemala meets with the Peaceful Resistance of La Laguna about the water scarcity crisis

Published by Brent Patterson on

On December 5, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted: “Yesterday we met with members of the Peaceful Resistance of La Laguna in San Pedro Ayampuc. Today they called for a demonstration due to prolonged water scarcity in the municipality.”

Nina Lakhani has written in The Guardian: “Water shortages and poverty are causally linked to the country’s skewed land distribution: roughly 2% of the population control 70% of all productive farmland.”

National Geographic has also reported: “Guatemala is consistently listed among the world’s 10 most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change.” The United Nations has cautioned that globally: “Extreme weather events are making water more scarce, more unpredictable, more polluted or all three.”

And Americas Quarterly has explained: “Guatemala is part of the region of dry forest extending throughout Central America, where droughts have driven down food production. Extremely dry conditions have increased poverty and created food insecurity, putting residents at risk of starvation and driving migration from Central America.”

PBI-Guatemala has previously explained that the Peaceful Resistance of La Laguna opposes “the installation of an electrical distribution plant and a high voltage power station in the municipality and defending the right to water and a healthy environment.”

Their main concerns were the “possible environmental and health consequences, such as deforestation, the reduction of the amount of water available and the contamination of the water supply with harmful chemicals.”

Peace Brigades International affirms access to water as a fundamental human right.

On July 28, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly, through Resolution 64/292, recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that these rights are essential to the realization of all human rights.

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied the Peaceful Resistance of La Laguna since November 2015 due to threats made against the group.

Photo: The banner reads: “No more dirty water”. The UN says that much of the surface water in Guatemala has high levels of pollution from the accumulation of garbage and other factors that make it unfit to drink.

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