March 25, 2019
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Greenpeace Spain protests construction company owned by Real Madrid president

Madrid, Apr 13 (efe-epa).- Greenpeace protesters chained themselves to the headquarters of a multinational construction company run by the president of Real Madrid soccer club and cut off its water supply on Friday to protest a vast dam being built in the central American country of Guatemala, a project they said could leave tens of thousands of local inhabitants without proper access to water.

Greenpeace spokesperson Miguel Angel Soto told EFE the construction work on the Cahabón river, in the north of Guatemala, was being carried out by Cobra, a subsidiary of ACS, whose Chairman and CEO is Florentino Perez, and that around 29,000 Q'eqchi' people were expected to be left with severely restricted access to water.

"We've cut the building's water off so they understand what it's like to live without this precious resource," Soto said. "These huge structures cause serious environmental damage and are frequently built in a context of violence and intimidation against the local civilian population," he added, referring to the large dam.

Greenpeace activists stood on a shelf above the main entrance to the plush office building in north Madrid and unfurled a banner.

It took police and firefighters some two hours to pull them off, with passing traffic slowing down to observe the stand-off.

Real Madrid President Perez reportedly owns close to 13 percent of ACS, one of the world's leading construction companies which has its headquarters in Madrid.

Soto said the environmentalist organization was also demanding that people not be criminalized for defending their rights, as many indigenous leaders were reportedly being held in prison pending trials and were facing charges brought against them by large corporations.

Similar mega-dam projects are in the works in India, Congo and China, among others, and the spokesperson insisted to EFE that these needed to be halted as well, as they were being carried out without consulting the local population.

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