NOVEMBER 8, 2014

GUATEMALA PRESIDENT APOLOGIZES TO ACHI FORCED TO LEAVE LAND FOR CHIXOY DAM

In Guatemala City, President Otto Perez Molina apologized to 33 communities of indigenous Achi whose members were murdered or forced to abandon their homes to make way for construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam on the Chixoy River in the north of Guatemala.  In 1982, over 400 Maya Achí men, women, and children were killed opposing the dam.  In 1983, the dam flooded the communities.  President Molina asked forgiveness for atrocities and other human rights violations suffered by those communities over the project, which occurred during Guatemala’s civil war.  People were assassinated and lands expropriated.  In addition to the apology, by agreement, the government would provide $153.8 million in compensation.  The money will be distributed among the 33 communities over the next 15 years.

Sources:  
“Guatemala apologizes to people displaced for dam,” KSL.com, 11/8/2014.  Retrieved 8/4/2020,
https://www.ksl.com/article/32276600/guatemala-apologizes-to-people-displaced-for-dam
 “Justice Comes Slowly for Guatemala’s Maya Achí,” Global Greengrants Fund, 3/24/2016.  Retrieved 8/4/2020, https://www.greengrants.org/2016/03/24/justice-comes-slowly-for-guatemalas-maya-achi/
Photo:  INDE, 5/30/2012.  Permissive Use.

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