Organization: Asociacion Grupo Integral de Mujeres Sanjuaneras (AGIMS)
Location: San Juan, Guatemala
Maya Women in Defence of Territory and Madre Tierra in Guatemala: The Case of San Juan Sacatepéquez.
This paper takes as a case study the conflict between Maya-Kaqchikel communities and the company Cementos Progreso Ltd. (CEMPRO) in San Juan Sacatepéquez. The Movement of the 12 Communities has been opposing the CEMPRO project, geared towards cement production, since 2006. This paper takes Maya women’s narratives as a departure point in seeking to understand the situation in San Juan Sacatepéquez. Findings suggest that the CEMPRO project, and the ensuing conflict over its implementation, have had differential impacts on rural Maya women. Findings also suggest that Maya women are playing a crucial role in efforts to halt the project. Moreover, findings suggest that the conflict has catalyzed greater political engagement by Maya women, who have faced historical exclusion and ongoing marginalization, reconfiguring unequal gender relations locally.