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Resisting Hydroelectric Dams in Guatemala: A Matter of Life and Death

By: 
Zia Kandler

Nine months have passed since Indigenous human rights defender Sebastian Alonso Juan was shot and killed at a peaceful protest in Guatemala’s Ixquisis region, and communities are still waiting for justice.

On Jan. 17, 2017, Sebastian Alonso Juan joined a nonviolent community demonstration against Promoción y Desarrollos Hídricos (PDH), S.A, the Guatemalan subsidiary of an international company behind the construction of three controversial hydroelectric projects, Pojom I, Pojom II, and San Andres. Juan died after suffering gunshot and machete wounds when armed men opened fire into the crowd of peaceful protesters, who were under the watch of police and private security forces hired by PDH S.A.