PBI-Guatemala accompanies the Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón as struggle against OXEC dams built without consent continues

Published by Brent Patterson on

On August 7, PBI-Guatemala posted:

“PBI accompanies and meets with members of the Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón who defends their territory against the OXEC hydroelectric power that entered their lands without prior consultation, free and informed.”

The Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón, a collective of 38 Maya Q’eqchi communities, began as a collective process around 2015 to oppose the construction of the Oxec and Renace dams on the Cahabón River and its tributaries.

On August 27, 2017, PBI provided security support to a community organized consultation in which 26,537 people in 195 communities of the Cahabón River participated. 26,526 rejected the presence of the hydroelectric dam company.

The Guatemalan Human Rights Commission (GHRC) highlights: “A few months later [in December 2017], Bernardo Caal Xol [of the Peaceful Resistance] was arrested [in] a clear act of retribution for the defense of his community’s water rights.”

In November 2018, Bernardo was sentenced to seven years and four months in jail. On March 24, 2022, Bernardo was finally released from jail.

The two most recently completed dams on Cahabón River are Oxec II which began operation in September 2018 and Renace IV which became operational in January 2019. These dams were built without free, prior and informed consent.

In December 2021, Digis Mak reported: “[The] Oxec private hydroelectric project has two dams and one more in the construction stage.”

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied the Peaceful Resistance since July 2017.


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