Xacbal Hydroelectric project, Guatemala

Xacbal hydroproject, one of the biggest in Central America under the Project Mesoamerica, caused displacement and no benefit to local population. Despite this, it is registered under CDM and is operation since 2010.


Description
En el 2004 la empresa Hidro Xacbal S.A -parte del grupo empresarial hondureño Grupo Terra- compró a la familia Arenas Menes terreno ubicado en San Gaspar Chajul departamento del Quiché con el objetivo de construir la hidroeléctrica privada.
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Basic Data
NameXacbal Hydroelectric project, Guatemala
CountryGuatemala
ProvinceQuiché
SiteSan Gaspar, Chuajul
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Water access rights and entitlements
REDD/CDM
Specific CommoditiesLand
Electricity
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
The project includes a diversion dam, two desilting basins, a headrace
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Project Area (in hectares)60,780
Level of Investment (in USD)250,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population30 000
Start Date06/2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesHidro Xacbal S.A from Guatemala - owner
SOLEL BONEH from Israel
Grupo Terra from Guatemala - owner
Compañía Extractora Minera de Occidente from Guatemala - constructora
Relevant government actorsMinisterio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN ), Netherlands CDM Facility for the Government of the Netherlands ; Netherlands 'Ministry of Infraestructure and the Environment (IenM)
International and Financial InstitutionsRoyal Bank of Trinidad & Tobago from Trinidad and Tobago
Grupo financiero G&T Continental from Guatemala
Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica (BCIE)
Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board (CDM Executive Board)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCoordinadora Nacional Indígena y Campesina de Guatemala (CONIC), Pastoral Social de Ixcán, Colectivo Madre Selva, Frente Nacional de Afectados y Amenazados por Represas y en Defensa del Agua (FNAARD)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Women
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationObjections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseMigration/displacement
Negotiated alternative solution
Repression
Indemnizaciones sólo a una parte de los desplazados
Development of AlternativesEl pueblo Maya Ixil demandan la legalización de sus tierras ancestrales y además piden mayores beneficios para la zona. El Ph Xacbal no ha llevado energía eléctrica a las comunidades Ixil.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.El proyecto hidroeléctrico está operando desde el 2010 y aún los habitantes indígenas de los territorios inundados no han obtenido tierras legalizadas. Algunos grupos desplazados no han obtenido la inmdenización prometida.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

International Labor Convention (ILO) Convention 169 on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal People
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References

Universidad Rafael Landívar, Instituto de Transformación de Conflictos para la Paz en Guatemala (INTRAPAZ) (2009). Conflicto por el uso de la Tierra: Nuevas expresiones de la conflictividad agraria en Guatemala
[click to view]

CDM documents
[click to view]

Links

Louisa Reynolds (2007) Construcción de hidroeléctrica Xacbal genera descontento en población Ixil
[click to view]

El Grito de los excluidos. El grupo TERRA, el pueblo Ixil y la recién inaugurada represa Xacbal
[click to view]

Energía Limpia de Guatemala recibe autorización para construcción de hidroeléctrica
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La prensa (2010) Hidro Xacbal aporta 94 MW
[click to view]

Other Documents

Hidroelectrica Xacbal Imagen aérea
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorFundación Neotrópica
Last update13/11/2014
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