The community of Quesada, Jutiapa celebrated a historic victory on March 24, after a three year struggle against Alternative Renewable Energy, a Guatemalan-based company which cut down over 25,000 trees to plant eucalyptus to be used as an energy source.
For two years, the community organized into 24-hour turns at the entrance of the property to block further progress on the project. The hill which was clear-cut is a major water source for the region.
Aleisar Arana, president of the Xinka Parliament and resident of Quesada shared reflections with hundreds of people during a public celebration of the victory. He stated, “We were the simplest people, the humblest people, the people with consciousness, who said, ‘We don’t want this project’.”
During the celebration, the community gave special recognition to numerous members of the community who were a constant presence at the encampment, despite lack of food and minimal shelter.
Seven community members, including Alesiar Arana still have criminal charges against them for their peaceful resistance to the project. Their next date to appear in court in April 23, 2019.