In Guatemala’s Ixcán region, Indigenous communities have successfully resisted the imposition of the Xalalá Dam for over a decade. Join the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) and the Association of Communities for Development & the Defense of Land and Natural Resources (ACODET) in learning from the lessons of this long-term grassroots organizing. Maya Mam community leader José Gómez will speak about ACODET's struggle to protect land and water, cultivate Indigenous identity and leadership, and build community power in the face of harmful corporate and state-led megadevelopment.
José Gómez is a Maya Mam community leader from Guatemala who has been a member of ACODET since 2012, first as a community representative for Copal AA La Esperanza in the municipality of Cobán, then as the association's spokesperson, and now as a member of the Coordination Team. As Co-coordinator, Mr. Gómez is a primary liaison between national, regional, and local actors to channel information about the status of megaprojects in the territory. He works with a variety of stakeholders to build Indigenous leadership, unify strategy, and strengthen community defense.