Alternative World Water Forum

“Water is life” is the message that countless organizations across Guatemala have rallied around as thousands march more than 260 miles to demand that the Guatemalan government act, and protect right to water. Tens of thousands of protesters set out on the long, and grueling march to Guatemala City on April 11 to demand that the government protect their right to water, and for an end to the privatization of water resources. The marchers united with other marches from other parts of the country on April 22 to commemorate Earth Day.

“We have marched from the border with Mexico with the objective of denouncing the massive atrocities that we have suffered, such as the destruction of our natural environment, caused by large companies,” said Domingo Alvarez Ajanel, the National Coordinator of the Communities of Peoples in Resistance (CPR), while marching through the Municipality of Mazatenango. “They are privatizing our water and detouring our river by installing hydroelectric projects, and by the production of monocultures.”

People from across Guatemala joined the marcher as they braved the heat, cold, and rain along their way to Guatemala City, with well over 2,000 participating by day ten, and several thousand more by the time the march arrived in Guatemala City.

“We are asking the businesses to respect the use of the rivers and of the land,” said Feliciana Materna, from the department of Quiche, who marched with the protesters since April 13. “We are also telling the companies that they cannot transform our water into a commodity. Without the resources that give life, our children cannot survive.”

Referencing the heat along the march, Materna adds, “There is heat, but we need to see that this heat is the result of climate change, which affects not only the lives of the indigenous populations, but the companies too. The companies need to see that this affects them, and that it comes as a result of the contamination in our environment.”

Read more on the website of UpsideDownWorld

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