Central America: International forum against dams

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From March 21 to 23, men and women from 98 organizations and communities in 21 countries of the world gathered in Guatemala to express the general concern caused by the plans of construction of dams for various purposes in different regions.

During the meeting, called “Foro Mesoamericano Por la Vida” (Meso-American Forum For Life) the participants shared information and experiences, and analized the negative environmental, cultural and socio-economic impacts already caused by these projects and the potential damages they entail.

In their final statement, the participants agreed to oppose the construction of dams, since these alter and deviate the natural course of rivers, resulting in flooding and affecting and displacing people from their communities around their influence area; they destroy sacred and historical places and kill ecosystems and their biodiversity. Furthermore, dam construction represents a flagrant violation of peoples' right to self-determination, affecting the heritage and cosmovision of the indigenous peoples. The statement also identifies those institutions and people responsible for the projects and establishes several claims of the populations affected. The full statement