Guatemala’s president has apologized to 33 communities of indigenous Achi people who were forced to abandon their homes to make way for construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam in the north of the Central American country.
President Otto Pérez Molina says he asks forgiveness for atrocities and other human rights violations suffered by those communities over the project, which occurred during Guatemala’s civil war. Some people were assassinated and others had their land expropriated.
The apology was delivered Saturday to a gathering of Achi as officials provided details of an agreement to provide $153.8 million in compensation for the damage inflicted on them. The money will be distributed among the 33 communities over the next 15 years.