Latin American Organizations Present at the United Nations the Impact of 28 Chinese Projects in Latin America

A delegation of 10 representatives from the Collective on Chinese Financing and Investments, Human Rights, and the Environment (CICDHA), along with 35 other Latin American organizations, presented the report tittled: “Chinese Business Activities and Human Rights in Latin America: Cases in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela” at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

As part of the 4th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of China, the report develops an exhaustive investigation that shows the non-compliance with international agreements on human rights and the environment in 28 projects across mining, hydroelectric, hydrocarbon, infrastructure, agribusiness industry, and energy sectors.

Julia Cuadros, of CooperAcción (Peru), on behalf of CICDHA, spoke at the UPR pre-session of China at the UN headquarters in Geneva on November 29. She emphasized that “it is not the first time that CICDHA channels these concerns to the UN Human Rights Council; however, despite recommendations in previous UPR cycles and several Special Procedures such as the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), China’s efforts to implement mechanisms to regulate the conduct of its companies and financial institutions are still inadequate and ineffective.

Among the findings presented by the CICDHA, at least 20 cases report abuses against the rights of indigenous peoples, and rights and 16 lack processes of prior, free, and informed consent (FPIC).

According to Jaime Palomino, President of the Shuar Arutam People (Ecuador), “the report is a wake-up call to the international community and Chinese entities about the need to ensure that companies and financial entities are held accountable for human rights and environmental violations in Latin America, particularly in cases where prior, free, and informed consent has not been obtained, such as the San Carlos Panantza mining project in the Ecuadorian Amazon.”

It is alarming that all projects presented in the report show impacts on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, with 21 of them located in fragile and strategic ecosystems facing climate change, such as the Amazon and glaciers.

The technical secretary of CICDHA, Marco Gandarillas, stated that the organizations urge Latin American governments to adhere to UN General Assembly Resolution 76/300, which declares a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a universal human right, and to support more effective environmental multilateralism within the United Nations.

Furthermore, the report points out that the lack of environmental and social monitoring mechanisms by both national and Chinese entities exacerbates the negative impacts of Chinese investments in the region. The cases show that pollution and environmental degradation compromise the livelihoods of affected communities, the right to health, and food sovereignty.

Jaime Borda, Executive Secretary of the Muqui Network in Peru, affirmed that “due to the lack of transparency and responsibility of Chinese companies regarding the information they provide to the public about their projects, organizations request Chinese banks and companies to improve the quantity and quality of the information they publish.”

Among the main recommendations presented by the CICDHA in its report is that Chinese companies involved in the 28 reported projects implement urgent measures for the comprehensive repair and remediation of the negative impacts inflicted on the affected communities and incorporate control mechanisms to ensure that such impacts do not recur, following the highest international standards. Additionally, CICDHA demands that Chinese embassies become formal channels of communication between civil society organizations in countries and Chinese entities to facilitate timely dialogue on environmental and social conflicts generated around projects and prevent their escalation.


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Somos una red de instituciones peruanas que, actuando local, regional, nacional e internacionalmente, defiende y promueve el reconocimiento, respeto y ejercicio de los derechos de comunidades y poblaciones, así como el desarrollo sostenible en situaciones en las cuales se pretende realizar y/o se vienen realizando actividades mineras abordando sus implicancias sociales, ambientales y culturales.

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