Ituango Hydropower Plant

Country: Colombia

Reception date: June, 5 2018

Current Status: Open


The complainants are 477 residents of 9 municipalities in the department of Antioquia, Colombia, represented by by Mrs. Isabel Zulueta López, of the organization Movimiento Ríos Vivos Antioquia. Additionally, they have the support of three organizations: The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the Inter-American Association for the Defense of the Environment (AIDA) and the International Accountability Project (IAP).

Summary of the Request

The request describes the situation faced by communities located in the municipalities of Briceño, Ituango, Toledo, Peque, Sabanalarga, Valdivia, Caucasia, San Andrés de Cuerquia, and Sopetrán. The Ituango Hydroelectric Project, currently under construction, is located in this area.

The request alleges current and potential impacts in the construction and operation stages of the project related to the identification of the project’s area of influence and the affected population; the identification and management of social and environmental impacts; the increase in conflict, insecurity, and violence in the project area and gender-differentiated impacts; the absence of adequate public consultation and participation; and the lack of adequate resettlement or compensation plans for physical and economic displacement resulting from the project’s construction. The requesters also maintain that the emergency that began in April 2018 has worsened and led to additional impacts both upstream and downstream of the dam, and that the project's handling of its consequences and related information has been inadequate. 

The Request describes the situation faced by 480 people in various communities along the Cauca river canyon in the municipalities of Briceño, Ituango, Toledo, Peque, Sabanalarga, Buriticá, Liborina, Olaya and Santa Fe de Antioquia. The Ituango Hydroelectric Project, currently under construction, is located in this area.

They underline the situation of violence and reprisals against those who have shown opposition to the project, claiming death threats and homicides.

Regarding the MICI process, the Requesters have stated that they wish to resort to both the Consultation Phase and the Compliance Review Phase, in case their Request be declared eligible.

Recent actions

On November 5, 2020, the Parties were informed that the investigation period was extended due to the impossibility of carrying out the field mission in 2020, because of the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Once there is more information about the travel possibilities next year, MICI will specify the new deadline for issuing the Preliminary Compliance Review Report.

Past actions

On June 11, 2018, the MICI notified the Requesters and IDB Invest Management of the registration of the Request.

The IDB Invest Management requested from MICI a 15 business days extension to the period established in the MICI-CII Policy to be able to send the Management's Response, because they are focusing their efforts on giving attention to the Project’s current situation. In view of this situation, and in accordance with paragraph 59 of the Policy, the MICI Director asked the IIC Board of Executive Directors to consider extending the deadline, which was approved by on July 13, 2018.

The new deadline to receive Management’s Response was August 1, 2018, and the issue of the Eligibility Determination Memorandum was August 30, 2018.

On August 30th, 2018, the MICI determined that the Request was eligible as it met the criteria established in the MICI-IIC Policy.

This excluded two specific topics:

  • the recovery of bodies disposed of during the conflict period into the Cauca River, as no linkage of this issue could be established with an action or omission by IDB Invest in relation to its own environmental and social standards; and
  • potential non-compliance of the Project with national environmental legislation, as this is an issue subject to a judicial process.

The Request was transferred to the Consultation Phase (Conflict resolution process) to initiate the assessment stage.

On November 16, 2018, the Consultation Phase Assessment Report was issued, which concluded that there were no conditions to initiate a dialogue process.

On December 7, 2018, the case was transferred to the Compliance Review Phase, which was notified to the parties on December 18, 2018.

On December 7, 2018, the MICI Director asked the IDB-IIC Board of Executive Directors for an extension to prepare the “Recommendation for a Compliance Review and Terms of Reference” (paragraph 59 of the Policy). The Board of Executive Directors approved the extension via short procedure. Therefore, the new deadline to issue the Recommendation was February 28, 2019.

On February 28, 2019, MICI sent the Parties the draft of the Recommendation and Terms of Reference for a Compliance Review of the present case. As of this date, the Parties had 15 business days to comment on the document.

On March 4, 2019, IDB Invest Management requested MICI for a 16 business days extension to send its comments on the "Draft Recommendation and Terms of Reference for a Compliance Review" sent to the Parties on February 28th, 2019.

On March 13, the Board of Executive Directors approved this extension, so the new deadline for receiving comments from the parties was April 12, 2019.

On July 26, 2019 MICI distributed the Recommendation for a Compliance Review and its Terms of Reference (TOR) to the Board of Executive Directors of the IIC for consideration by Short Procedure. On July 31, 2019, the Board of Executive Directors interrupted the approval of the Recommendation, under Short Procedure, in order to consider the document in a Committee session.

On October 29, 2019, the Board of Executive Directors approved the Recommendation and Terms of Reference to carry out a Compliance Review. MICI anticipates that the investigation will last nine months from the date the investigation panel is formed. The panel consists of the Phase Coordinator and the experts.

On February 18, 2020, Jay Paul Wagner (Canada), Luis Enrique Sánchez (Brazil), David Nyheim (Norway), Lorena Aguilar (Costa Rica) and Allan Lavell (United Kingdom) were hired as independent experts to conduct the investigation led by the Compliance Review Phase Coordinator.

Project Number:


Other related projects:


Project Name:

Ituango Hydropower Plant



Project Type:

Loan Operation

IDB Invest Financing:


Consultation Process
Recommendation for a CR and ToRs
CR Report


Consultation Phase (CP)

Compliance Review Phase (CRP)

Chronology and documents

Steps and milestones Date Remarks Documents


Request Receipt



Notice of Registration


Deadline of 5 business days from the date of receipt or 15 business days from when more information is requested by the Requesters.


Management Response


21 business days from the date of notice of registration. The response will be published as an annex to the Eligibility Memorandum.


Eligibility Memorandum Public Disclosure


This determination is not an assessment of the merits of the Request or the issues presented in it.
Consultation phase


Deadline for Assessment


40 business days from the date of issuance of the eligibility memorandum.


Assessment Report Public Disclosure


As per the Access to Information Policy (OP-102) the disclosure of this document is done simultaneous to its distribution to the Board of Executive Directors.
Consultation Phase Closure


Notification to Parties


Compliance review phase
Recommendation for a Compliance Review and Terms of Reference (ToRs)


Preparation of Draft Recommendation and ToRs due date


21 business days from the start date of the Compliance Review Phase. An extension was requested and approved.


Due date for receiving comments on Draft


Management and Requesters have 15 business days to submit their comments to the Draft. An extension was requested and approved.


Consideration by the Board of Executive Directors of the Recommendation and ToRs


In accordance with MICI Policy, the document will be distributed to the public once approved by the Board of Directors. Start date for consideration under Short Procedure. The Board interrupted the procedure on July 31 for discussion of the Recommendation.


Decision by the Board of Executive Directors regarding the Recommendation




Date of integration of Panel



Expected completion date of Investigation / Issuance of Draft Compliance Review Report


The conclusion date of the investigation is set in accordance to the ToRs and the subsequent extension.