The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia

Hearings IACHR extractivism and Human Rights in Latin America – specific case of mining in Colombia

Summary of the two November 2013 hearings.

In a first hearing, the petitioners, who were present and had come from all over Latin America, expressed their concerns with regard to a new topic at the IACHR: the responsibility of States, including the home countries of the companies, as well as of the countries where the events occur. The second hearing analysed specifically the issue of extractive industry in Colombia.

The European Parliament must fulfill its promise to ‘use’ the FTA to demand improvements in human rights in Colombia

Press release on the hearing at the European Parliament on EU-Colombia Trade Agreement and Human Rights situation.

oday the European Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights has organised a hearing on the Situation of Human Rights in Colombia and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Oidhaco welcomes this initiative because the process of ratification of the FTA led to in-depth discussions on the human rights situation in the country. MEPs were alerted to the continuing violence in the region and the potential impacts of this Agreement in the various sectors of the Colombian economy.

Extractive industries, natural resources and human rights in Colombia

Summary of the multiple links between mining industry activities and human rights violations in Colombia. Joint document by the Colombian Platform for Human Rights, Democracy and Development and Oidhaco.

In recent years, there has been an intense debate in Colombia about the role of mining in the national development process. The country is experiencing a boom in mining activity. In a decade the coal mined in the country has almost doubled, from 38,242 million tons in the year 2000 to 74,350 million tons in 2010 ; in addition, the area of land given titles for mining has soared in recent years. In 2002 there were mining concessions over 1.1 million hectares, while in 2009, concessions had been awarded over 8.4 million hectares .

Development and responsible business practices – extractive industries in developing countries

Intervention by Sergio Coronado at the Development Committee of the European Parliament on the impacts of large-scale mining in Colombia, mainly in relation to human rights, poverty and environmental rights.

On September 17, 2013 the Development Committee of the European Parliament hold a hearing entitled “Promoting development through responsible business practices, including the role of extractive industries in developing countries” to which Sergio Coronado – Representative of the Colombian Platform for Democracy, Development and Human Rights*was invited in order to present the situation in Colombia.

National and transnational corporations and Human Rights – Declaration

Declaration signed up by more than 100 organizations on the occasion a Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean in Medellín.

On the occasion of the announcement made by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, the Regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDP) and the Government of Colombia regarding a Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean to be held in the city of Medellín, Colombia, from 28 and August 30, 2013:

Mining in Colombia: Basics to overcome the extractive model

80% of the human rights violations occurring in Colombia, are taking place in the mining and oil municipalities. Main conclusions of the report; some reactions after its publication; and recommendations by Oidhaco.

In May 2013, the Colombian Comptroller General (Contraloría General de la República) published a report entitled “Mining in Colombia: Basics to overcome the extractive model” (Minería en Colombia: Fundamentos para superar el modelo extractivista) which was widely covered by the national press.

Civil Society in Brussels pronounce themselves in view of the First Summit between the EU and Latin America and the Carribean States.

“The networks in Brussels reiterate their call for a change of direction towards an equitable integration of peoples, and the emergence of a global financial architecture that protects the rights of citizens”

Brussels, 28 January 2013. The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), the European Union (EU), and the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission have agreed in Santiago de Chile, the 26 and January 27, 2013, to renew and deepen their strategic partnership, under the theme: “Partnership for development: Promoting Investments of Social and Environmental Quality. “

The European Parliament prioritises trade interests over human rights and sustainable development

According to studies by the London School of Economics “the two Agreementslack mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing Human Rights”

The European Parliament has prioritised trade over human rights and sustainable development today in a vote that brings into force two agreements between the European Union and Central America, and Colombia and Peru. The agreements will not do enough to address human rights abuses in Latin America, and do not take into consideration the asymmetries between the two regions, according to broad group of civil society organisations.

Today – at the time of voting – MEPs appear not to have listened to civil society

The Committee on International Trade did not listen to more than 160 rural communities and NGOs in Europe and Latin America who asked them not to ratify the EU-Colombia and Peru Free Trade Agreement

More than 160 NGOs and communities in Europe and Latin America have sent a letter to the European Parliament Committee on International Trade on October 25, 2012 asking them not to ratify the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union – Colombia and Peru. This request is based on the dramatic consequences that this treaty could have on human rights, the food sovereignty of communities, pollution of the living environment of entire villages, and the destruction of sectors of the economy. The FTA is a way to perpetuate and increase an export model in raw materials from Colombia and Peru to the European Union; a model that does not contribute to inclusive development.