Community members allege that Guatemalan police and company security guards targeted local residents who launched protests opposing the dam’s construction with intimidation and repression. Nine residents of the heavily Mayan Q’anjob’al community of Santa Cruz Barillas were illegally detained and a local activist, Andrés Pedro Miguel, was fatally shot by security guards who had worked for Hidro Santa Cruz.
Kate Geary, co-director of the watchdog group Recourse, slammed the IFC’s argument that the dam was not the cause of the community’s suffering.
“The claim is absurd and illogical,” Geary said. “It’s completely a return to the bad old days of an unaccountable and unresponsive IFC.”