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Giovanni Batz


Anne Ray Fellow

Affiliation at time of award:
Visiting Assistant Professor
Dept. of Anthropology
Miami University

Giovanni Batz and his daughter, Ixq’anil.

The Fourth Invasion: Development, Ixil-Maya Resistance, and the Struggle against Megaprojects in Guatemala

In Cotzal, Guatemala, the arrival of megaprojects is referred to as the “fourth” invasion. Dr. Batz’s project presents a historical account of these “four invasions” with an emphasis on a conflict surrounding the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Cotzal. It examines the recent creation of Ixil-Maya-based organizations and movements in the Ixil Region, which are striving to recover tichajil (the good life) in order to challenge global western capitalistic forms of development, and achieve and/or reaffirm various intersecting forms of autonomy (political, educational and cultural). Batz argues that the arrival of extractivist industries is a continuation of a colonial logic of extraction based on genocidal institutions, prompting the latest Ixil movement that ranges from open revolts to everyday forms of resistance.

Generous funding for this Fellowship provided by the Anne Ray Foundation.