Summary of the Request
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.
According to the Requesters, the IDB Group would have failed to comply with the provisions of its Operational Policies, as well as the Performance Standards of the International Financial Corporation. This non-compliance refers to a series of actions and omissions, among which are: the absence of the adequate and complete evaluation of environmental impacts, without perspective of cumulative impacts; absence of the adequate evaluation of social impacts, preventing the total identification of those affected and the characterization of the population impacted. Similarly, they claim that citizen participation procedures, procedures for access to information never took place and that an involuntary resettlement plan was not carried out.
Regarding the allegations of damage, the Request describes various environmental effects, mainly on the Cauca River and its slopes, and their potential impact on the livelihood activities of the Requesters. Likewise, they claim forced evictions and negative impacts on communities due to the migration of workers, as well as the greater impact on women due to the lack of inclusion of the gender perspective in the project.
They underline the situation of violence and reprisals against those who have shown opposition to the project, claiming death threats and homicides.
Finally, in the Request it is alleged that all these damages, already existing before the emergency generated by landslides and tunnel blockages, have been exacerbated by the emergency.
Regarding the MICI process, the Requesters have stated that they wish to resort to both the Consultation Phase and the Compliance Review Phase, where their Request be declared eligible.
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.