Land rights defenders increasingly the target of repressive measures, says the Observatory

Cover of "We're not afraid" report

The Observatory released its Annual Report at the United Nations Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights in December 2014. The report documents harassment and abuse of land rights defenders.

Where specific allegations were made against a company, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the company to respond.

  • Abengoa, Bonatti, Enagas, and Elecnori have been invited to respond to allegations that their joint energy project abused the rights of local communities in Mexico. Abengoa has responded. Enagas, Elecnor and Bonatti have not responded.
  • Voronezhgeologiya has been invited to respond to the allegation that members of an NGO were beaten by a private security firm hired by the company in Russia. Voronezhgeologiya did not respond.
  • EXMINGUA (a subsidiary Kappes, Cassiday & Associates) have been invited to respond to allegations that their gold mine negatively impacts human rights. EXMINGUA did not respond.
  • PTPN7 has been invited to respond to the allegations of land conflicts, and intimidation of communities in opposition in Indonesia. PTPN7 did not respond.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has previously invited companies to respond to some of the situations highlighted; these responses are included below

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Company non-response
18 February 2015

Enagás did not respond

Company non-response
18 February 2015

EXMINGUA did not respond

Company non-response
18 February 2015

PTPN7 did not respond

Company response
10 February 2015

Abengoa response

Author: Abengoa

Abengoa is participating in the Comprehensive Morelos Power Project, tendered out by the Federal Electricity Commission (FEC), building a 640 MW capacity combined-cycle plant in Huexca, located in Mexico’s state of Morelos. The references included in the reported prepared by the OBS (Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders) are in connection with protests in the state of Puebla in relation to the development of a gas pipeline that is not being constructed by Abengoa.

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Company non-response
10 February 2015

Bonatti did not respond

Company non-response
10 February 2015

Elecnor did not respond

Company response
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10 February 2015

Respuesta de Abengoa

Author: Abengoa

Abengoa participa en el Proyecto Integral Morelos, licitado por la Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), construyendo una planta de ciclo combinado de 640 MW de capacidad, en la localidad mexicana de Huexca en el estado de Morelos.Las referencias incluidas en el informe elaborado por el OBS (Observatory for the protection of Human Rights Defenders) están relacionadas con protestas en el estado de Puebla en referencia al desarrollo de un gaseoducto que no está siendo construido por Abengoa.

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Company non-response
10 February 2015

Voronezhgeologiya did not respond

Report
9 December 2014

"We are not afraid"!: Land rights defenders: attacked for confronting unbridled development

Author: The Observatory

"Land rights defenders: attacked for confronting unbridled development", 2 Dec 2014

...Land rights defenders are increasingly the target of repressive measures, says the Observatory in a new report published today in The Philippines, Mexico, and South Africa, and which will be presented tomorrow in Geneva at the United Nations Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. The pressure on land has become unbearable and mobilisation for the respect of the economic, social and cultural rights of affected communities has become a high risk activity...

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Company response
2 September 2014

[PDF] B2Gold Response

Author: B2Gold

Response by B2Gold – September 2,  2014

…The respect of human rights is a core value of B2Gold and we are aware of and carefully monitor any issues raised in the context of mining or within the countries that we operate. B2Gold has been operating in Nicaragua under fully compliant permits since 2009. Our practices include open and participative public consultation, not just for permitting purposes, but also throughout our operating presence in order to collaborate with local stakeholders. We have the support of many stakeholders in the communities where we operate and continue to engage openly with stakeholders to address concerns that they may have...

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