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Guatemalan Indigenous Communities Resist Mega Cement Factory Despite Military Occupation
by Jeff Abbott
By Upside Down World

Divide-and-conquer tactics, cooptation, and resistance. Another example why “corporate social responsibility” is not sustainable development. 

Since 2007, the 12 Kaqchikel communities of San Juan Sacatepéquez have maintained a resistance to the construction of the San Gabriel cement factory. Cementos Progreso, and the Novella family, one of the most powerful members of the Guatemalan oligarchy, owns the cement plant. […]

On January 6, 2015 the community leaders and the company signed a peace agreement, ending the resistance of the 12 Kaqchikel communities to the construction of the largest cement factory in Central America. In return for ending the resistance, the communities would receive various development projects from various Non-governmental organizations, and the company’s social responsibility organization, The Carlos F. Novella Foundation.

But this decision was made without the consultation of members of the resistance, and on July 29, communities announced that they were re-committing their resistance to the construction of the cement factory. Representatives gathered in Guatemala City to hold a press conference to denounce their former leaders by name for betraying their communities.

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