Guatemala City, April 26-27, 2018.
We, the representatives of social movements, environmental organizations, human rights defenders, women's groups, indigenous peoples participating in the II Regional Meeting of the Central American Alliance Against Mining -ACAFREMIN-, met in Guatemala City on April 26 and 27 of this year, in order to analyze "the state of the right to prior, free and informed consultation in order to obtain people’s consent”.
During the meeting we have analyzed the legal foundations of prior, free and informed consultation, as a right that communities and indigenous and tribal people have, to either grant or deny their consent to extractive projects in their territories.
During the meeting we analyzed the legal frameworks and conventional obligations on the right to prior consultation and the right to free and informed consent and the current political and socio-economic context of the Mesoamerican region; we exchanged experiences of resistance to unwanted extractivist projects and shared strategies of struggle as we face the challenges that the extractive industries and the governments impose on the people.
Since colonization, the world powers have promoted policies of plundering of our people and resources to sustain their economies. In this logic, the current crisis of global capitalism fosters the advance of extractive industries in the Central American territory through trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties and multilateral financial institutions that work in partnership with local officials in order to strengthen corporate rights and thus legitimize the dispossession of the common goods.
The harmful effects of these politics have affected mainly indigenous peoples, rural / peasant communities and environmental defenders who have experienced harsh repression, prosecution and criminalization for defending human rights and above all the right to say no to projects that threaten our life, environment, biodiversity and cultural diversity.
Particularly, the meeting allowed the reflection on the worrying situation that the indigenous peoples of Guatemala and Honduras face, these countries’ governments seek to legitimize the actions of companies by regulating consultation without the real participation of the people, the lack of application of the right to free, prior and informed consent under international human rights standards in Nicaragua and the lack of ratification of the ILO Convention 169 in El Salvador.
In view of the aforementioned by the participant organizations below, we demand that states in the CA4 region;
- comply with their international and regional obligations to guarantee the right to free, prior and informed consent, in accordance with the norms and traditions and the right to self-determination of peoples.
- do not back track in the rights and guarantees recognized, up to now, in their legislation and jurisprudence (internal law)
- have not duly complied with their international obligations related to prior consultation and free and informed consent must issue moratoriums or suspensions of licenses and concessions of extractivist projects, to guarantee respect for human rights.
- the Salvadoran Government, in particular, besides having introduced a constitutional reform in 2014, which recognizes the existence of indigenous peoples in its territory, must ratify the ILO Convention 169 to guarantee the rights of its peoples.
- We also ask that multilateral institutions trusted to promote and oversee the protection of human rights to monitor the dire situation of violence faced by human rights defenders in the region.
As member organizations and allies of ACAFREMIN we reaffirm our commitment to continue to defend the right to Free Prior and Informed Consen, fight for due regulation and transparency in the extractive industries and promote models of sustainable development that guarantee a healthy environment for the future generations.
Given in Guatemala City, the 26th and 27th days of the month of April of the year 2018.
- Association for the Development of El Salvador - CRIPDES
- Association for the Social Economic Development of Santa Marta - ADES
- Radio Victoria
- Association for Municipal Reconstruction and Development - ARDM
- Association of Communities for the Development of Chalatenango (CCR)
- Indigenous Municipality of Cotzal, Resistencia Zona Reina, Uspatán Quiché
- Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango - ADH
- Association of Mayan Lawyers and Notaries
- Association At Tenamit / Indigenous Table of Climate Change in Guatemala
- Madre Selva Collective
- Mam Council - ADH
- Frente Nacional de Lucha
- Miguelense defense front -FREDEMMI
- Community Radio Movement of Guatemala
- Resistance Huehuetenango, Ixquisis San Mateo
- Resistance San Rafael las Flores
- Resistance Zona Reina, Uspatán Quiché
- National Union of Health Workers of Guatemala
- National Union of Guatemalan Women - UNAMG
- Labour Federation Guatemalan Workers - UNSITRAGUA
- Our Lady of Pilar Parish
- Reflection, Research and Communication Team - ERIC
- National Network of Communities Affected by Mining in Honduras - RENACAMIH
- Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras - OFRANEH
- San Alonso Rodríguez Foundation of Bajo Aguan - FSAR
- Southern Social Environment Movement for Life - MASS-VIDA
- Humboldt Center
- National Environmental Movement against Mining - MONAFMI
- Breaking the Silence (Canada)
- Institute for Policy Studies - Washington, DC
- Christian Romero Initiative, CIR
- Network in Solidarity with the people in Guatemala - NISGUA
- Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining - REMA