World

Guatemala's president apologizes to 33 communities displaced for dam, outlines compensation

  • People who were made to abandon their homes due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam, attend a meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in Rabinal, Guatemala, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Perez Molina apologized to members of the surrounding Baja Verapaz communities for human rights violations committed against the Achi Indians, during the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam, that began in 1975. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

    People who were made to abandon their homes due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam, attend a meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in Rabinal, Guatemala, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Perez Molina apologized to members of the surrounding Baja Verapaz communities for human rights violations committed against the Achi Indians, during the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam, that began in 1975. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Andres Alvarado Sic, who was forced to abandon his home due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam, attends a meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in Rabinal, Guatemala, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Perez Molina apologized to members of the surrounding Baja Verapaz communities for human rights violations committed against the Achi Indians, during the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam, that began in 1975. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

    Andres Alvarado Sic, who was forced to abandon his home due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam, attends a meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in Rabinal, Guatemala, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Perez Molina apologized to members of the surrounding Baja Verapaz communities for human rights violations committed against the Achi Indians, during the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam, that began in 1975. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)  (The Associated Press)

  • People who were made to abandon their homes because of the construction of a hydroelectric dam, attend a meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in Rabinal, Guatemala, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Perez Molina apologized to members of the surrounding Baja Verapaz communities for human rights violations committed against the Achi Indians, during the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam, that began in 1975. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

    People who were made to abandon their homes because of the construction of a hydroelectric dam, attend a meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in Rabinal, Guatemala, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Perez Molina apologized to members of the surrounding Baja Verapaz communities for human rights violations committed against the Achi Indians, during the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam, that began in 1975. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)  (The Associated Press)

Guatemala's president has apologized to 33 communities of indigenous Achi people who were forced to abandon their homes to make way for construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam in the north of the Central American country.

President Otto Perez Molina says he asks forgiveness for atrocities and other human rights violations suffered by those communities over the project, which occurred during Guatemala's civil war. Some people were assassinated and others had their land expropriated.

The apology was delivered Saturday to a gathering of Achi as officials provided details of an agreement to provide $153.8 million in compensation for the damage inflicted on them. The money will be distributed among the 33 communities over the next 15 years.