Guatemala: NGOs & communities protesting hydroelectric project by Promoción y Desarrollos Hídricos allege repression, killing of activist by armed men

In Guatemala, different communities have denounced the possible negative environmental and social impacts and the lack of consultation of the hydroelectric project Pojom I in Ixquisis, San Mateo Ixtatán, Guatemala. On the 17 of January, during a protest against the project, NGOs denounced repression and the killing of community member, Sebastián Alonso Juan.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Promoción de Desarollos Hídrcos (PDHSA) to respond; the response is available in Spanish here. 

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Author: Promoción y Desarrollos Hídricos S.A.

La Empresa Promoción y Desarrollos Hídricos, S.A. denuncia el ataque alevoso sufrido el martes 17 de enero en contra de sus instalaciones y maquinaria para construcción del proyecto hídrico por un grupo de pobladores y personas externas al área encabezados por presunto dirigente de una organización que se autodefinió públicamente. Rechazamos categóricamente las versiones que circulan por parte de grupos interesados que afirman que la empresa tuvo la responsabilidad de los disparos sucedidos que causaron la muerte lamentable del señor Sebastián Alonzo Juan. Llamamos a las autoridades a actuar enérgicamente contra los autores materiales e intelectuales de estos hechos vandálicos armados, a retomar el ejercicio de su legítima y legal autoridad y a lograr la presencia de la institucionalidad del Estado en el área de San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango…

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Article
18 January 2017

Repression of communities defending their rights in the Ixquisis Region, San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango

Author: Asamblea Departamental de Pueblos de Huehuetenango (ADH), Asociación Civil El Observador, Guatemala Solidarität (ADA), Cadena para un Retorno Acompañado (CAREA), Collectif Guatemala, Guatemala Solidarity Network, Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (UDEFEGUA), Protection International, Peace Watch Switzerland, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS), Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), Swedish Fellowship for Reconciliation (SweFOR) & Guatemala Human Rights Commission (GHRC)

…January 17, 2017, the communities of the Micro Region of Ixquisis, San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango, who defend human rights, their territory, life and natural resources, carried out a peaceful protest to express, once again, their rejection and disagreement with the construction of hydroelectric projects owned by the company Promoción y Desarrollos Hídricos, Sociedad Anónima (PDH, SA)…At around 14:00…armed men, who were hiding behind bushes, fired against the demonstrators severely wounding the 72-year-old Sebastián Alonso Juan, a neighbor of the community…Sebastián Alonso Juan passed away without having received medical attention…Faced with this new repressive act, the signatory organizations demand…the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including a monitoring and sanctioning of those companies that operate with international funds and where human rights violations occur…

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