"Colombia’s peace process needs an accountable extractives industry" says coalition of NGOs
Author: Andrés Hernández & Ana Carolína González, Mesa de Sociedad Civil para la Transparencia en las Industrias Extractivas, in Open Society Foundations website, Published on: 26 April 2016
In Colombia, Sergio Jaramillo, one of the people who has led the government’s efforts to end a half-century of conflict with the leftist guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has said that a major part of any final peace plan will be...territorial peace….But beyond a focus on illegal activities, to secure la paz territorial in the long run, national, regional, and local public institutions will have to be strengthened to ensure that communities most affected by the conflict are able to participate in the political process…Private companies in the mining and energy sectors will have to adapt as well. These sectors are highly centralized and hierarchical, but they cannot remain so if they are to be responsive to the people who live and work near extractive operations. Companies will have to increasingly consider the social and environmental impacts of their practices, communicate directly with local communities, be attentive to complaints and concerns, and develop clear systems for preventing problems and managing them when they do arise. Respecting and empowering these communities can help ensure that extraction operations continue smoothly, sustainably, and legally.