Clash over development plans leaves 8 dead in Guatemala
GUATEMALA CITY – Eight indigenous people have died in a village west of the capital after a clash that saw residents turn guns on their neighbors over plans to build a road and a cement plant.
Interior Minister Mauricio López said the authorities were working to determine what actions will be taken after the clashes that began overnight into Saturday in San Juan Sacatepéquez.
“We need a greater security presence in the area to regain control,” said López, noting that about 600 policemen were deployed in the area where the incident took place.
Several homes and five vehicles were burned.
The conflict escalated because some in the indigenous community are being forced to leave their homes due to the construction, while others have been in favor of the plant and sold some land for the road.
Farming community leader Daniel Pascual told AFP that gunmen had fired on villagers opposed to the project, noting that some of the attackers were employees of the cement company.
In July 2013, Cementos Progreso began work to build a modern plant in San Gabriel for $720 million. It is expected to begin operations in 2017.
However, the project has divided the local population between those who support the company and those who oppose the construction due to fears it will damage groundwater sources and cause other environmental damage.
The area has been prone to conflict in recent years.
You may be interested
Reader photos: Beauty at Jacó BeachThe Tico Times - January 19, 2019
At The Tico Times, we love great photos of Costa Rica. Share your favorite original photos with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader Naomi shared…
Tico Times: Letters to the Editor (Jan. 18, 2019)The Tico Times - January 19, 2019
The Tico Times is proud to be an independent, English-language news source in Costa Rica. Our readers regularly submit editorials…
Costa Rica soccer announces squad to face United StatesAFP and The Tico Times - January 19, 2019
Costa Rica’s new men's national soccer team manager, Gustavo Matosas, summoned a revamped lineup without most of its best-known figures…