CDM board needs to take action to protect human rights in Santa Rita

MEPs representing European Parlaiment’s environmental and development committees express their serious concern about the Santa Rita Hydroelectric Plant in Guatemala.The project is registered under the clean development mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations.

They call on the CDM board to take the deplorable events surrounding the Santa Rita case seriously, start a dialogue with bodies that are currently investigating non-compliance with applicable rules, such as the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Compliance Advisory Ombudsman (CAO), the development banks of Germany, the Netherlands and Spain involved, and initiate an own investigation of the claims.

Many of the communities that will be impacted by the project were never consulted in accordance with the CDM local stakeholder consultation requirements. As a result, the project has been, and still is, in the center of a violent conflict between the communities and the power company implementing this project.

Since 2010, seven people have killed, including two children, 70 civilians injured, 30 illegally arrested, 30 houses burned to the ground and more than 40 people with warrant restricting their rights. The situation has deteriorated without CDM board to take action.

There is a need for accountability of the UN’s clean development mechanism to ensure that CDM projects adhere to existing national and international obligations.

Letter to chairs of the CMD Board 20 May 2015