Giovanni Batz, Independent Scholar, PhD Anthropology
Along with the global demand for natural resources and the influence of neoliberalism, foreign companies that produce energy and sponsor extra-activist industries in Latin America continue to grow. State officials, the private sector, and other supporters of megaprojects argue that these initiatives foster development, employment, and living conditions, as well as creating clean and renewable sources of energy. Yet many indigenous communities, human rights organizations, and other opponents claim that these industries do not further development and instead contribute to communal divisions, environmental degradation, human rights violations, and militarization. In Cotzal, Guatemala, the arrival of several megaprojects has been referred to as the “new” or “fourth” invasion—the three previous invasions being Spanish colonization, the creation of plantations at the end of the nineteenth century, and the Guatemalan civil war (1960–1996). In this presentation, Giovanni Batz will provide a historical account of these “four invasions” with an emphasis on the conflict surrounding the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Cotzal.
This event is free and open to the public. The presentation will take place in the Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom on the SAR campus. Advanced registration is encouraged.