People’s Assembly in Guatemala condemns IFC’s response to investigation as ‘racist’

24.06.2020

The Asamblea Departamental de Pueblos de Huehuetenango (ADH – People’s Assembly of Huehuetenango) has condemned the response of the IFC to an investigation of its role in the Hidro Santa Cruz dam project.

Though the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman had found the IFC breached its standards meant to protect communities, the IFC, although ‘deeply troubled’ by ‘the unfortunate events’, refused to accept responsibility and offered no remedy to affected communities. For the ADH, “the response of this organisation is riddled with racism, indolence, irresponsibility, but above all impunity.”

ADH’s statement details the events that took place in Santa Cruz Barillas in the eight years leading up to a State of Siege in May 2012, including “the unjust imprisonment of more than twenty community leaders, .. the murder of Andrés Francisco Miguel, … the suffering of women, communities and the people” and says “for us there have been years of suffering, of losses of all kinds. None of the lives of those affected by the Hidro Santa Cruz project have been the same again.”

ADH issues a call to action: “We call on the international community, the national and international organisations that have accompanied us in defense of our rights, to speak out in the face of the impudence and impunity with which the World Bank acts and to speak out and show solidarity with the community of Santa Cruz Barillas.”

Read the full statement (in Spanish) attached.