Guatemala News Update: June 9-13

Community opposition to Xalalá Dam

On June 7, 500 local leaders rejected the authorization of project feasibility studies for the Xalalá hydroelectric project. Cristian Otzín, lawyer for the communities, has announced that they will present a legal challenge to the project based on the failure to respect the process of prior consent, failure to respect the right to life, and anomalies in the project contract.

In a meeting with President Molina, the Executive Council of the Guatemalan Confederation of Cooperative Federations (Confecoop) expressed their interest in investing in the Xalalá dam, as long as the surrounding communities approve and want to be involved. Government officials and Confecoop will meet again in six months to evaluate the project’s development.

In related news, local residents removed a roadblock they had maintained since Monday to protest the construction of a hydroelectric project in their community of Camotán, Chiquimula. Continue reading