The defense of a sacred river that landed a Mayan professor in jail in Guatemala

  • Darius Brooks
  • BBC News World

Bernardo Caal Xól

Image source, Isabel matzir

In the mountains of northern Guatemala, wealth and poverty coexist conspicuously.

On the one hand, the department of Alta Verapaz is one of the richest regions in natural resources from the country: there are mineral and oil deposits, extensive forest resources, and large volumes of water in its rivers.

At the same time, it is the region with the most human development problems, with one of the highest rates of poverty, child malnutrition, illiteracy and lack of public services.

That is why for many local communities, such as the kekchi of the Mayan culture, the defense of land and water that consider sacred it’s key.

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