Last update:
2014-11-13

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
Name of conflict:Xacbal Hydroelectric project, Guatemala
Country:Guatemala
State or province:Quiché
Location of conflict:San 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 commodities:Land
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:60,780
Level of Investment:250,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:30 000
Start of the conflict:06/2007
Company names or state enterprises:Hidro 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 actors:Ministerio 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 Finance 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 organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Coordinadora 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)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Women
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Objections 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-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Negotiated alternative solution
Repression
Indemnizaciones sólo a una parte de los desplazados
Proposal and development of alternatives:El 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

International Labor Convention (ILO) Convention 169 on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal People
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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]

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
[click to view]

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

La prensa (2010) Hidro Xacbal aporta 94 MW
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Fundación Neotrópica
Last update18/08/2019
Comments
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