Colombia: Inter-American Development Bank to investigate compliance with its social, environmental standards over investment in the Ituango dam

Author: Center for International Enviromental Law (CIEL), Published on: 10 November 2019

“Inter-American Development Bank to Investigate Ituango Hydroelectric Project” November 10, 2019

…In a historic decision, the Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved an international investigation of the Bank’s private lending arm, IDB Invest, for its investment in the Ituango hydroelectric project. Located in the department of Antioquia, the Ituango dam has had a devastating impact on thousands of people across four departments and 27 municipalities in Colombia … The investigation’s main objective will be to determine whether—when financing this megaproject in a region of Colombia that continues to be affected by high levels of violence and resurgent armed conflict—the Bank complied with the social and environmental standards that it is obligated to uphold. The investigation will also examine whether any non-compliance by the Bank is connected to the serious harm that has been sustained by affected communities… In the complaint, the communities indicate that the project lacked an adequate environmental impact assessment and that it did not allow for the participation of communities or provide access to information. They emphasize that the project has been advanced in a context marked by human rights violations, the disproportionate use of force, and increasing violence against people who defend their land and water. They also point out the pattern of discrimination faced by communities for deciding to oppose the project, as well as by women affected by the project. As the complaint lays out, all of this contradicts the social and environmental standards that the IDB must apply to its investments…

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Related companies: EPM (Empresas Públicas de Medellín)