Q’eqchi Leaders Attacked with Machetes on Eve of Megadam Construction

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August, 2013 funeral for two Q’eqchi children killed in an assassination attempt against an opponent of Hidro Santa Rita’s planned dam on Guatemala’s Dolores River

from Guatamala Solidarity Project

Four leaders of the Q’eqchi community Monte Olivo were attacked and severely injured with machetes by employees of the Santa Rita hydroelectric company who also carried firearms. Police were called but refused to arrest the attackers. On Wednesday the company plans to begin construction of a hydroelectric dam that would flood communities and destroy the local ecosystem. The dam is being constructed in violation of national and international law which require consultation of the communities, which strongly oppose the project. In August the community was also attacked and two children were killed in retribution to human rights complaints filed by the community.

We are extremely concerned that further violence will occur this week in support of the illegal dam. The GSP condemns the attack and calls for the immediate arrest of those responsible, including the intellectual authors of the attack. The GSP calls for the suspension of construction and immediate cancellation of the shipment of machinery to the region.

Take Action

1 Call Edgar Villanueva at the Gutemalan Embassy in the United States at (202) 745-4953 or (202) 745-3873 and demand the immediate arrest of those responsible, including the intellectual authors of the attack. Also ask for suspension of construction and immediate cancellation of the shipment of machinery to the region.

2 Sign our new petition calling for justice for Saquimo Setana, a Q’eqchi community located nearby Monte Olivo which has also participated in mobilizing against the dam.

3. Support our partners through a contribution to the Guatemala Solidarity Project. We are a volunteer run organization and all funds go to our partners in Guatemala. The best way to donate is to send a check to our fiscal sponsor, “UPAVIM Community Development Foundation” to UPAVIM, PO Box 63, Marshfield, VT 05658. Please write “GSP” in the notes/memo section of the check. Or donate online by visiting http://www.upavim.or/donate Click on the yellow donate button, then YOU MUST WRITE ‘Guatemala Solidarity Project’ for the purpose. We thank our fiscal sponsor UPAVIM for helping us ensure that your contributions are tax deductible and that all funds (other than bank transaction) go to our partners in Guatemala.

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