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The false myth of clean energy in Latin America

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For decades, the discourse of “development” has flooded the Latin American region to promote extractive projects of various kinds on campesinos and indigenous lands: open-pit mining, construction of hydroelectric dams and road and energy infrastructure, among many other mega-projects implemented without the consent of the communities.

With the endorsement of global financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as investment from private and state corporations, these projects have been violently imposed, leading to the forced displacement of entire communities and the persecution, criminalization and murder of those who resist the devastation of their territories and the environment.

Now, under the pretext of climate change, capitalism presents ideas such as “clean energy” and “carbon neutral”, which promote initiatives that exacerbate dispossession at the global level. With these arguments, echoed by NGOs, governments and institutions such as the UN, the aim is to promote a series of projects that far from questioning the roots of global warming, seek to clean up the image of those responsible for the devastation.

You can read our research on the green economy and reconfiguration of territoriality in Central America

“Our struggle is clearly against all exploitation”, stated the people of Latin America, who witness the negative consequences of “green” projects within the framework of “clean energy” and “conservation” of nature.

Ruins of the Chacté dam workers’ camp. More than three decades ago, the people of Cancuc expelled the workers because they did not have the permission of the communities. Today the land is used for planting maize and coffee plantations. Photo by Aldo Santiago

Avispa Midia, in collaboration with the Chiapaneco Group against the Extractive Model, presents The False Myth of Clean Energy, a documentary that gathers the testimonies of communities that are on the front line against the assault of the green economy, which seeks to put a price on the common goods of nature in Chiapas, Latin America and the world. 

Voices from Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico combine in this audiovisual document to disarticulate the deception of the so-called “clean energies”, implemented under the discourse of “mitigation” of the effects of climate change and with negative impacts on the territories.

This documentary aims to contribute to the analysis of the communities for whom the environmental struggle represents an anti-capitalist struggle.

The false myth of clean energy in Latin America

Length: 46 minutes

Interviews: Alcaldía indígena de Nebaj, Asociación de Afectados por la represa El Quimbo, Comunidades afectadas por Hidrosogamoso, Comunidad Lenca de Río Blanco, Comunidad Náyeri de Presidio de Los Reyes, Parroquia de Cancúc, Otros Mundos AC, Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa AC, Movimiento Reddeldía de los Montes Azules, Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusco 20 de junio.

Images and sound: Lucia Ramirez, Juliana Bittencourt, Santiago Navarro, Beatriz Millón y Aldo Santiago

Directed by: Claudia Ramos Guillén y Aldo Santiago

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