Journal article Open Access

Dispossession and violence against Chuj people in Guatemala through the imposition of hydroelectric works

Pohlenz de Tavira, Ana

Article 2 of Vol. 7, No 1, Water politics, violence, and injustice: experiences from Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico, Jose Esteban Castro (Ed.), Karina Kloster (Org.), Newcastle upon Tyne and Mexico City, March 2020


For over a decade, the Ixquisis Micro-region in Guatemala has become the scenario of conflicts between the Chuj indigenous communities and the hydroenergy companies operating in alliance with the government. The communities struggle to defend their territory and against the grabbing of water from the region’s rivers by the companies. There are three ongoing projects in this Micro-region: Pojom I and II, and San Andrés, involving the construction of several hydroenergy plants on the rivers Negro, Yalanhuitz, and Pojom, which are part of the binational Santo Domingo river basin shared with Mexico. The construction of these projects is changing the political, economic, social, and cultural dynamics in this borderland microregion. However, despite the local opposition, the construction of these hydroenergy projects is being imposed on the population through military and police intervention.

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