Photovoltaics lighting up the night in rural Nicaragua

Taken from Nicaragua News 15/03/15

Photovoltaic projects, both large and small, are transforming the night in rural Nicaragua. Salvador Mansell, minister of energy and mines, also noted that the Sandinista government is prioritizing the installation of electric service on the Caribbean Coast. He also said that a new substation in Mulukuku will supply power to the North Caribbean Autonomous Region. “We are beginning a very broad program of electricity coverage in the Caribbean,” he said. “Two hundred kilometers of transmission lines have been built between Siuna and Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi), and 1,500 solar panels will be installed as well as several new substations.” In Tipitapa, near Managua, Canadian Solar has announced it will build the largest photovoltaic park in Nicaragua (3.1 megawatts) to serve the Franca Astro Free Trade Zone which is home to 26 companies. Two Nicaraguan banks are financing the project.

Originally taken from Informe Pastran, Mar. 6, 2015

PROGELSA denounced for paying inhabitants to create a confrontation on the Petacón River.


January 16, 2019

Initially translated by ENCA member Rick Blower and adapted by Martin Mowforth.

Numerous entries in ‘The Violence of Development’ book and website have been critical of transnational corporations (TNCs) for their tactics of violence deployed against local people and communities who protest against the corporation’s ‘development’ being imposed upon them. These tactics can take the form of threats of violence, intimidation, criminalisation, defamation and even assassination. At times when we try to point out the use of such tactics by western corporations, we are accused of being extreme by people who cannot believe that western companies would be so blatantly immoral, illegal and criminal.

This particular article illustrates another tactic used by TNCs to create conflict and discord among local populations. It is essentially a case of ‘divide and rule’.

Key words: hydro-electric power plant; yellow jackets; local protest; poverty.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

In 2015 the Honduran National Congress approved more than a dozen energy projects, including the Petacón River Hydro-electric Project. The approval took no account of the ability of the state to purchase the energy from the producing companies. In the case of the Petacón project, the company involved is PROGELSA (Promotora de Energia Limpia) which was awarded a 50 year lease on the project. At present the project is semi-paralysed due to protests by the local Lenca residents of the community of Reitoca.

The contract with the company stipulates that the project has to respect and maintain a regular flow of water in the original course of the river, but local people say that the river has already been deviated from its course when the company started to build. They claim that this has already affected their environment and their health.

On Wednesday 16th January 2019 a group of inhabitants from the community of Muluaca in the municipality of Lepaterique (in the Honduran department of Francisco Morazán) arrived in Reitoca (also in the department of Francisco Morazán) where the local Lenca people control the territory and have halted the construction of the hydroelectric project on the River Petacón.

The aim of the inhabitants of Lepaterique was to displace the inhabitants of Reitoca who are resisting the hydroelectric company in its attempts to build their project on the River Petacón.

It was evident that the inhabitants of Lepaterique were being backed by the company PROGELSA, since they were in possession of many supplies and all of them were dressed wearing ‘yellow jackets’ with ‘messages of peace’, the organisation of Madre Tierra [see notes below] pointed out in a communiqué.

Madre Tierra declared that it sees the tactics used by PROGELSA with sadness and as a display of cowardice. These tactics use conditions of poverty in which the community of Lepaterique live, to confront them against the peoples of Reitoca, brother against brother; whilst those who benefit from the conflict will always be the companies.

This attempt to divide and rule has failed, for now; but there are reports [from El Portal, 29 April 2019] of the Honduran National Police firing on some of the 300 protestors from Reitoca, injuring one, in a more recent incident. Both the police and military forces have been trying to dislodge the protestors.

  • A related note: The Movimiento Madre Tierra (MMT) in Honduras is directed by Dr Juan Almendares, a well-known environmentalist and human rights advocate. The MMT is the official Honduran branch of Friends of the Earth International and supports the people of Reitoca as an heroic people’s stand against the privatisation of water.
  • For more on MMT, see  A 2010 interview with Dr Almendares was conducted by Martin Mowforth and appears in this website at:

Firewood, tortillas and floods

???????????????????????????????It may sometimes be difficult to see the link between the tortillas served with your meals in Managua and the floods that frequently occur in the city, but it exists.

Tortillas in Managua are cooked over firewood from the higher zones of the city and neighbouring municipalities such as Tipitapa which is one of the most deforested in the country. Jaime Incer Barquero, president of Fundenic SOS and a former Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, never tires of pointing out the contradiction to the people in the higher zones of Managua: “In the mornings they go down to the city with their carts full of firewood, and later they return with water.”[1] Incer points out that these people do not have any water because they are felling their trees for firewood which they sell in order to buy water. If they didn’t fell their trees, their water sources would still be viable and they could save themselves the journey.

According to the article in La Prensa[2], more than one of the wells of the Nicaraguan Company of Water and Sewage Systems (ENACAL) in the south of the city has dried up. Floods, droughts, a lack of water and even landslides are only some of the most dangerous collateral damage caused, at least in part, by the irrational use of firewood in Nicaragua. “Urbanisation has only increased the use of firewood for cooking. The Young Environmentalists Club believes that the firewood problem is a reflection of two things: the underdevelopment of the country and the difficulty in accessing alternative technologies.”[3]

[1] Jaime Incer Barquero cited in ‘La leña causa serios daños colaterales’, in La Prensa, Managua, 6 March 2011.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Nicaragua News (8 March 2011) ‘Firewood cooking has many consequences’, Nicaragua News Service, Managua.

A few energy developments in Central America

Compiled by Martin Mowforth for The Violence of Development website.

Photovoltaic panels in Panama

Panama is planning the construction of an electrical energy production plant using photovoltaic panels.

In April, Italy’s Enel SpA company began construction of a 31 MW solar park in Panama’s Chiriqui province. The Madre Vieja photovoltaic (PV) plant is expected to begin feeding power into the local grid in December this year (2021) and commercial operations are planned to start in February 2022.

Madre Vieja will consist of over 68,000 solar panels and should be able to generate nearly 50 Gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That is calculated as enough to offset over 12,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.


Solar energy in Guatemala

A solar energy generation park is to be built in the department of Jutiapa, Guatemala. The construction phase is expected to last almost two years and the plant will have approximately 274,000 panels and will be located on a 127 hectare plot of land.

The energy generated in the project will be transmitted through the electrical transmission system to the Jalpatagua sub-station whence it will be delivered to the National Interconnected System (SNI).


Promotion of geothermal energy in Central America

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) commissioned a programme to promote geothermal development in Central America between 2016 and 2020. The Agency in charge of the programme in the region was the Central American Integration System (SICA).

The programme involved particularly the improvement of the perception of geothermal energy as a stable and viable energy source, the clarification of the legal regulatory framework for the development of geothermal energy and support for companies aiming to develop geothermal energy potential.


First wind farm in El Salvador

El Salvador’s first wind farm has been commissioned. It is expected to produce 54 MW of electrical energy and is located in the municipality of Metapán in the Santa Ana department.

It will significantly add to El Salvador’s capacity for renewable energy generation and prevent the emission of approximately 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Additionally, it will also help to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and diversify the national energy power grid.


  • Central America Data, 18 November 2021, various reported items.
  • renews,14 July 2021, ‘El Salvador commissions first wind farm’,
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) website (undated), ‘Promotion of geothermal energy in Central America’,




The Jilamito Hydroelectric Project in Honduras

Key words: School Of The Americas Watch (SOAW); Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ, Honduras); Jilamito Hydroelectric Project; community opposition; US Development Finance Corporation; IDB Invest; privatisation of natural resources.

The SOAW is the School Of The Americas Watch, a US  advocacy organisation founded in 1990 to protest the training of mainly Latin American military officers by the United States Department of Defence at the School of the Americas (SOA). Since 2000 the SOA has been called the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). Prior to that time the School Of The Americas had become popularly renamed the School Of Assassins. Most of the Latin American military human rights abusers spent some of their training time in the SOA. In April 2021, along with the Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective, the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice in Honduras (MADJ) and 60 other US and Honduran organisations, the SOAW sent a letter to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the US to oppose financing for the Jilamito Hydroelectric Project in Honduras.

For years, members of local communities, organised in MADJ, have maintained an encampment defending the Jilamito River from this project. They have faced death threats, violence, and criminalisation. The local mayor and other local leaders face criminal charges for defending the river. One month after they were indicted, Carlos Hernandez, the mayor’s defence lawyer, was murdered.

The US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has publicly stated it will finance the project as part of investing $1 billion in the private sector in Honduras. MADJ has repeatedly denounced threats, human rights violations, and allegations of corruption related to the project. Despite this, IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank, has approved a $20.25 million loan for the project. The US is by far the largest shareholder of the IDB.

The letter to the US Treasury Secretary noted that there are numerous parallels between the Jilamito Hydroelectric Project and the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project, for opposing which Berta Cáceres was murdered. In addition to the violence, criminalisation, and threats faced by project opponents, both projects were approved in the period after the 2009 military coup in Honduras when natural resources were rapidly handed over to Honduras’ elite. MADJ has denounced corruption and irregularities related to the concession process, as well as environmental damages, but unsurprisingly the Honduran judicial system has yet to resolve their complaints.

The US justifies support for projects such as the Jilamito Hydroelectric Project – via so-called ‘development’ banks – by claiming such ‘development’ will prevent migration. On the contrary, the violent, militarised imposition of the US neoliberal economic model – which includes the privatisation of natural resources – is itself a root cause of migration from Central America. This is not ‘development’ – it serves to privatise and concentrate natural resources in the hands of the elite – and is frequently imposed through US-backed militarisation and repression of the communities and organisations who defend their water, land, and rights.


Nicaraguan Energy Distribution Returns to State Ownership

January 14th, 2021

Chapter 4 of the book ‘The Violence of Development’ and this accompanying website covered the privatisation of the energy production and distribution markets in Nicaragua, and elsewhere in Central America. Given that this website allows for the updating of the issues covered in the book, news of the recent nationalisation of the energy distribution market in Nicaragua should certainly be included here.

The source for this news is the Nicaragua Network of the Alliance for Global Justice, which in turn took its information from Informe Pastrán on the 21st and 29th December 2020. Informe Pastrán serves as a regular daily mouthpiece for the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Its information is often questioned by opposition figures and movements and by the two major daily newspapers in Nicaragua whose own information is frequently even more like unbelievable baseless propaganda than that of the government.

Key words: Privatisation; nationalisation; electricity distribution; electricity coverage; climate change; liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Nationalisation of energy distribution in Nicaragua

On Dec. 21 [2020] the Nicaraguan National Assembly approved the “Law of Sovereign Assurance and Guarantee of the Supply of Electrical Energy to the Nicaraguan Population,” through which electricity distribution is once again in the hands of the State, ending the privatization of this strategic area that was carried out under the government of Arnoldo Aleman [1997 – 2002]. The distributor companies DISNORTE and DISSUR, created in 1999 with the objective of distributing and commercializing electrical energy, received this right of exploitation for 30 years. But, with this law, electricity distribution is now again in the hands of the State, including all the shares owned by TMI S.A. in DISNORTE and DISSUR thus guaranteeing coverage and quality. It is established that “by virtue of this law, … in order to guarantee the continuity of the electric energy service to the Nicaraguan population, the companies DISNORTE and DISSUR will be operated and administered by the institution(s) and/or companies that the State, through that the Ministry of Energy and Mines authorizes or delegates for such purpose.”

When the distribution was privatized several state-owned generators were sold to private corporations at a cheap price. The companies didn’t invest in the sector, and this led to the collapse of the system under President Enrique Bolaños with regular electricity blackouts of 8 to 12 hours a day. At the time, distribution was in the hands of the Spanish company Union Fenosa. The electricity cuts were overcome with the return to government of the FSLN in 2007 and the emergency installation of a 60 MW diesel-based generation plant facilitated by the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. Union Fenosa decided to sell its shares to the Spanish company Gas Natural, which in turn sold to TMI S.A..

Good News for Electricity Sector in 2020 and for 2021

Beginning January 1, 2021, families will benefit from a 12.5% average reduction in electricity rates. The government achieved 98.5% electricity coverage nationwide in 2020; energy was brought to 12,223 new homes and the supply was improved in 6,049 homes, which entailed an investment of US$27.7 million. In public lighting, the goal was surpassed, with 30,046 street lights installed nationwide. This month the Central American Bank for Economic Integration approved US$143 million to strengthen the electricity sector to help achieve the goal of 99. 9% national coverage. Projects will be carried out in the period 2022-2025 to meet that target. US$87 million will be allocated to electrification, which translates into 35,000 illuminated households for which more than 2,000 km of distribution networks will be built.


US Energy Company and Nicaragua Sign Deal

The US company New Fortress Energy Inc. announced Dec. 21 that it has signed two long-term liquefied natural gas supply agreements to support its natural gas and electricity businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. “As a company, our goal is to match our LNG purchases as closely as possible to our customers’ volumes, thereby reducing our exposure to changes in the market price of LNG in our portfolio,” said New Fortress President and CEO Wes Edens.

Informe Pastrán noted that Nicaragua could become the new rising star of natural gas in Latin America with the signing of a power purchase agreement between the Nicaraguan energy company and the US company and with the beginning of activities for the construction of a natural gas based plant, which will be located in Puerto Sandino. The plant will be connected to the national grid through the Sandino Substation and its annual contribution will be 2,233 GWh-year. [Note: This power will support Nicaragua’s wind and other renewable energy sources which now provide over 70% of the country’s energy.]


Note by Martin Mowforth:

The achievements in the broadening of electricity distribution by the Nicaraguan government since 2007 have been impressive. Similarly, its re-composition of the country’s electrical energy base from one based almost exclusively on fossil fuels to one that is now largely based on the recyclables of wind, solar and geothermal has also been effective, appropriate and economically and environmentally justifiable. Natural gas, however, is a contributor to global warming and should not be seen as part of the country’s drive towards sustainable energy sources. The growth in LNG is incompatible with efforts to address the climate crisis and Nicaragua’s role as “the new rising star of natural gas in Latin America” may not be compatible with its drive towards sustainable energy production and distribution

Costa Rica’s New President Leads the Way with Fossil Fuel Ban

By Martin Mowforth

In May this year [2018], Carlos Alvarado Quesada of the centre-left Citizens’ Action Party (PAC) was elected President of Costa Rica.

In his inauguration speech he declared that “Decarbonisation is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first. We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies.”

Before becoming President, Alvarado was a journalist, writer and political scientist who had studied at the University of Costa Rica and later at the University of Sussex where he gained a Masters in Development Studies.

There is no doubt that Alvarado is keen to pursue and promote environmental initiatives, but the task of turning the country into what he calls “the world’s decarbonisation laboratory” will not be an easy one. As an article in ENCA 69 (March 2017, ‘Costa Rica’s environmental reputation’) pointed out, although the country produces well over 90% of its electrical energy without the use of fossil fuels, around 70% of that energy comes from hydro-electricity generated from large-scale dams, whose environmental credentials are increasingly questioned. Also the Costa Rican transport sector has generated growing use of fossil fuels as a result of the growth in car ownership and use in recent years, with so far few signs of a willingness to switch to electric vehicles.

It will be interesting to watch the statistics of Costa Rica’s fossil fuel use during the period of his presidency.

Land Defence Lawyer Carlos Hernández Murdered in Arizona, Honduras

April 27, 2018

Guatemala Human Rights Commission (GHRC):

I am grateful to the GHRC for permission to reproduce this report.

Keywords: hydroelectric power in Honduras; Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ); assassinations; Carlos Hernández; Victor Fernández; INGELSA Corporation; Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH); Berta Cáceres; municipal referendum; criminalisation.

Carlos Hernández

The Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) of Honduras denounced the April 10, 2018 murder of lawyer Carlos Hernández. Hernández was the defence lawyer for Arnoldo Chacón, the mayor of the Honduran town of Arizona who is currently facing charges from a hydroelectric company.

Chacón is committed to defending the results of a 2015 municipal referendum banning hydroelectric development in Arizona.  In September 2017, Chacón told police that men had threatened the lives of those close  to him if he continued to obstruct INGELSA corporation plans to build a dam on the Jilamito river.

On March 12, 2018 four members of the MADJ and the Arizona Community Development Committee, Elena Gaitán, Tulio Laínez Gonzales, Julio Leíva Guzmán, and Claudio Ramírez Espinoza, sat in court in Tela, Atlántida, alongside the newly elected mayor of Arizona, Carlos Arnoldo Chacón, as a judge formalized criminal charges against them.  They explained that they were defending their communities’ river against blatant corruption that affected Arizona’s water; as much as half of the population of Arizona face daily hardships stemming from a scarcity of water.

Honduras’ most famous human rights advocate and environmentalist, Berta Cáceres, faced similar charges and narrowly escaped wrongful imprisonment in 2013, only to be murdered on March 2, 2016 after years of denouncing death threats by employees of the DESA hydroelectric company.  Intense international pressure forced prosecutors to investigate her murder.  Two years after gunmen stormed Berta Cáceres’ home near midnight and shot her beside her bed, the president of DESA was finally arrested.  The five men and women charged May 12 are confronting a similar hydroelectric company operating in Arizona, this one called INGELSA.

Yet another point Chacón and the other MADJ members have in common with Berta Cáceres is their lawyer, Victor Fernández.  Fernández is a former public prosecutor and while president of the National Association of Prosecutors in 2008, he led a hunger strike denouncing corruption in the judicial system. This protest led to the creation of the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice -MADJ, dedicated to defending rights of communities and fighting corruption in the judicial system.  Fernández defended Berta Cáceres in 2013 and is currently prosecuting her killers on behalf of her family and her organisation the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH).

Fernández is defending the five accused, but Chacón brought in another lawyer, Carlos Hernández, to support the case.  A former prosecutor, the young Hernández was shot dead in his office on April 10, 2018, less than a month after joining the defence team. Area residents fear his murder may have been an attempt by INGELSA to stop Arnoldo Chacón from saving the river for residents of Arizona.  Just a few months before, on September 13, 2017, while Chacon was a candidate for mayor and a member of the municipal corporate council, he told police that he had received threats from men who identified themselves as speaking on behalf of the INGELSA company.  According to Chacón, unknown individuals approached him. They wanted him to stop blocking the then mayor from illegally annulling the results of a 2015 municipal referendum which had rejected the construction of dams in Arizona. The hitmen explained that Chacón was INGELSA’s principal problem, and that if he didn’t allow the dams, they would have to kill him or people close to him. With INGELSA’s political influence they let him know they could also undertake an audit of the family business or other pressure tactics.  Just a few weeks before, men dressed as soldiers had illegally entered Chacón’s brother’s home, which houses the family business, and searched it.  Then on March 1, 2018 in an interview with Honduran press, Chacón reported that a local whistle-blower had told him a hitman who had been following him for weeks had been paid $6,500 to kill him.

In 2015 after months of pressure, the then mayor of the township of Arizona, Adolfo Paguada, had agreed to convoke a municipal referendum about the possible construction of a 14.8 MW hydroelectric dam on the Jilamito River.  It was convoked for 2pm on November 20, but neighbours denounced early that morning that Paguada brought 34 buses of people from neighbouring municipalities and held an illegal referendum in the morning.  Despite the problems, municipal council members oversaw the 2pm referendum, in which townspeople overwhelmingly voted against dams in Arizona, which according to Honduran law made the results binding.  The next day three legal complaints were filed against Paguada, but no investigation has occurred. The referendum made it impossible for the mayor to grant a construction license for the dam.  Additionally, Honduran law requires the municipal council to review and approve mandatory environmental impact assessments before granting construction licenses.  The municipal council never presented an environmental impact assessment. For both of these reasons, it was impossible for a construction license to be legally granted. Nonetheless, in January of 2017 INGELSA began construction of the dam.

Desperate to preserve the water source for 16 communities and over 24,000 people, in May of 2017 the communities installed a permanent encampment along the road leading to the construction site.  When INGELSA brought equipment to the area on May 29, neighbours did not let it pass.  Arnoldo Chacón and the Arizona community development committee attempted to dialogue with the company, which could not present the construction license.

Many formal complaints against INGELSA and former mayor Paguada were filed and never prosecuted, however malicious prosecution of community leaders and the mayoral candidate advanced quickly. Today, those community members have been charged with criminal usurpation of the State of Honduras’ road, while the 24,000 people who stand to lose potable water have yet to see a license for the construction and environmental defenders fear for their lives and for the life of their remaining lawyer, Victor Fernández.

Belize acts to end offshore oil exploration

Good news from Belize

By Martin Mowforth

In January this year [2018] the government of Belize voted to end all oil exploration in its waters. The policy is intended to protect the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site, the world’s second largest coral reef after the Australian Barrier Reef. The reef is home to many endangered marine species such as hawksbill turtles, rays, various species of sharks and manatees.

It is rarely acknowledged in the mainstream media, but the ban is in part due to extensive lobbying by environmental groups in Belize since as early as 2006. Significant amongst these groups has been the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. But the decision has also been widely welcomed by international organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Oil drilling puts at risk not just the marine biodiversity that is dependent on the reef, but also the country’s lucrative tourism industry which employs directly at least 25 per cent of the economically active population and indirectly and occasionally many more. Especially significant within the tourism industry is the dive sector which is dependent on the state of the reef. Belizean waters include three of the Caribbean’s four atolls: Lighthouse Reef; Glover’s Reef and the Turneffe Islands. Reef related tourism, fishing and other activities are estimated to have significant economic impact on a half of the country’s population.

By contrast with Belize’s decision, also in January this year Donald Trump opened up nearly all US waters to oil drilling in a move cheered by the oil industry. The decision affects many areas previously protected on environmental and conservation grounds. Clearly his memory covers only a short time span which can be no great surprise – Deep Water Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico appears to have been forgotten already.

On the other hand, Belize’s decision lights the way for developing nations to take control of their own resources and to make decisions for the benefit of their own peoples and environments. Candy Gónzalez (of the Coalition and also of the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy, BELPO), however, points out that, despite the headlines, “it is a moratorium, not a ban.” She adds that “that is one of the problems with it” and that it is “Not what we wanted, but it is something.”


  • Greg Beach (8th January 2018) ‘Belize votes to indefinitely end all oil exploration in its waters’,
  • Graeme Green (13th January) ‘Belize bans oil activity to protect its barrier reef’, The Guardian.
  • Adele Ramos (5th December 2015) ‘Belize beats UNESCO deadline to ban offshore exploration’,
  • Akshat Rathi (8th January 2018) ‘As Trump opens more waters for oil exploration, the tiny nation of Belize shows a better way’,
  • Candy Gónzalez (6th February 2018) Personal communication.

Small-scale solar power in Nicaragua

On 22 February 2017, NicaNet (the Nicaragua Network) reported the following in its weekly blog (

A report published by the French news agency AFP states that Nicaragua is carrying out a renewable energy revolution that is bringing electricity and prosperity to isolated rural communities in the country. The AFP report noted that 1,500 solar panels have been installed in homes and schools on the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast, as well as 250 solar powered water pumping systems benefiting farmers in the Pacific dry corridor.

Expanding Rural Energy Access in Nicaragua through Solar Panel Programmes (Photo credit: Green Empowerment)


Installing a solar panel on the roof of Los Pozitos school building. (Photo credit: Martin Mowforth)

Berta Cáceres Receives The Goldman Environmental Prize, 2015

The Goldman Environmental Prize honours grassroots environmental heroes from the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. The Goldman Prize views ‘grassroots’ leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.

Further video clips are available on the Goldman Environmental Prize website at:

Readers of ‘The Violence of Development’ website are urged to follow this link to listen to the Goldman profile story of Berta’s leadership of the struggle waged by COPINH against hydro-electric power schemes in one region of Honduras and in particular to hear her inspirational acceptance speech.

Green dam linked to killings of six indigenous people in Guatemala

By Arthur Neslen in Brussels, Thursday 26th March 2015.

The following is a link to a March 2015 article in The Guardian (London) regarding plans for the San Rita dam in Guatemala, carbon credits for which will be tradable under the EU’s emissions trading scheme.
(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd.