2010 press releases
Cancun package merely prevents collapse and leaves kyoto protocol on life support
governments urged not to rush into redd deal and focus on effective forest conservation
World Bank should stay out of carbon markets and climate finance
cancun week 2: friends of the earth international analysis
nnimmo bassey to receive 'alternative nobel prize'
the people’s voices: mobilizations in cancun
rich countries must reject any secret text that puts in place process that could kill kyoto
Japan threatens progress at climate talks in Cancun
Forest deals set to harm the environment and reward corporate investors
Governments urged to turn away from carbon trading at climate talks
EUROPE'S BIOFUELS PLANS DRIVING SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION
GLOBAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF KEN SARO-WIWA'S MURDER
UN ADVISORY GROUP ON CLIMATE FINANCE REPORT FALLS FLAT
high level advisory group on climate change must avoid pitfalls
Market mechanisms are a false solution to biodiversity loss
CLIMATE CHANGE: RICH NATIONS BACKTRACKING
Climate Talks : Developed Countries Must Stop Stalling
'Alternative Nobel Prize' Awarded to FoEI Chair Nnimmo Bassey
HEADS OF STATE MUST TAKE FIRM STEPS TO HALT BIODIVERSITY LOSS
TREE PLANTATIONS CAUSE GRAVE PROBLEMS
WORLD BANK LAND GRAB REPORT COMMENT: BIOFUELS CAUSE LAND GRABS
Biofuels for Europe driving land grabbing in Africa
OUTRAGE AT SHELL-FUNDED UN REPORT ON NIGERIA OIL SPILLS
un climate talks: developed nations strangle hope of progress
eu-brazil biofuels deal: "land-grabbing charter"
g20 summit: leaders should aim for 'robin hood tax'
US actions in Bonn threaten strong and just climate agreement
Launch of 'responsible soy' label faces global opposition
Developed countries attempt to launder aid money through World Bank and call it 'climate funds'
Fairness must guide Bonn climate talks: UN must not cede to weak US proposals
biodiversity lost at unprecedented rate
european union complicit in human right violations in latin america
European Transnationals Accused of Rights Violations in Latin America
2010 photo competition winners announced
world bank accused of promoting land grabbing
Bolivian Government Increases its Moral Authority on Climate Change
friends of the earth swaziland director wins prestigious goldman prize
BOLIVIAN CLIMATE CONFERENCE SIGNALS HOPE
FAO Accused of Favouring Polluting Industrial Agriculture
GM crops failing to tackle climate change
'Solidarity and Movements' Photo Competition Starts Today
2010 BIODIVERSITY YEAR: URGENT ACTION NEEDED
 
You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2010 / european union complicit in human right violations in latin america

european union complicit in human right violations in latin america

MADRID, SPAIN, 18 May 2010 – Friends of the Earth International today welcomed the ruling of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal, which condemned the European Union and European Financial Institutions for supporting criminal activities of European transnational corporations in Latin America [1], singling out Unión Fenosa, Stora Enso and Holcim. [2]

The ruling was issued on the eve of the VI Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean in Madrid, Spain. [3].

 

After two days of hearing testimonies from civil society organizations and indigenous communities directly impacted by the operations of European transnational corporations in Latin America, an international panel of judges urged the EU to establish a legal framework that allows holding corporations accountable for crimes in Latin America, stop the violations, repair their damages and grant victims access to justice.

 

It further asks the United Nations to establish an obligatory code of conduct for transnational corporations and to expand the mandate of the International Criminal Court of Justice from natural to legal persons (corporations).

 

“We are pleased that the Tribunal challenges the EU's promotion of policies that put corporate interests before peoples’ rights. Instead of discussing further association agreements that ensure more profits for companies, the EU, Latin American and Caribbean Heads of States should ensure that corporations do not violate fundamental human rights,” said Sebastián Valdomir, International Coordinator of the Economic Justice Program of Friends of the Earth International.

 

Friends of the Earth groups together with allies presented three cases against European companies to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal:

 

  • The Spanish energy company Unión Fenosa was condemned for being responsible for the persecution and assassination of community leaders in Guatemala and Colombia, of violating labour rights and of depriving the poorest of essential services by raising prices, and cutting electricity supply in Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua. The Tribunal also warned about the impacts of a coal mining mega-project planned by Unión Fenosa and Gas Natural in Guatemala and recommends its suspension.

  • The Swedish-Finnish forestry corporation Stora Enso was condemned for being responsible for environmental destruction in Brazil and Uruguay. The Tribunal further condemned the negative impacts on resources such as water and biodiversity which are vital for the livelihoods of communities near the Stora Enso plantations

  • The Swiss cement company Holcim was condemned for being responsible for cases of kidnapping in San Juan Sacatepequez (Guatemala) and assassination of community leaders, the criminalization of communities opposing the exploitation of their natural resources, and of environmental destruction and pollution in Guatemala, México and Colombia.

 

The Permanent Peoples Tribunal also challenged the role of european financial institutions (such as the european investment bank) and development agencies which provide funds for destructive activities of transnational corporations and urged them to adopt mechanism that guarantee the protection of human rights.

 

“The European Investment Bank claims to support sustainable development, but it gives huge sums to destructive projects such as Stora Enso’s eucalyptus monocultures in Brazil and Uruguay. Stora Enso now owns more land in Latin America than in Europe, and it is the biggest land-owner in Uruguay,” said Christine Pohl of Friends of the Earth Europe.

 

“The economic policies of the EU, its banks and development agencies promote growth and economic development to combat poverty, but in reality they have only benefited the rich elites while the poor suffer disastrous consequences,” added Christine Pohl.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT IN MADRID

Sebastián Valdomir, REDES / Friends of the Earth Uruguay, Tel: +34-6-47592408 (Spanish mobile valid only until May 19)

 

Christine Pohl, Friends of the Earth Europe, Tel: +34-6-35982541 (Spanish mobile valid until May 26) or +32-498-492563 (belgian mobile)

 

Blanca González Ruibal, Friends of the Earth Spain, Tel: +34-6-91471389 (Spanish mobile)

 

Teresa Rodríguez Pierrard, Friends of the Earth Spain, Tel: + 34-6-80936327 (Spanish mobile)

 

NOTES

[1] The Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) was established in 1973 as the Russell Tribunal on Vietnam to address the institutional gaps in the international legal system. The authority of the Tribunal's decisions is guaranteed by the integrity of the jury, which consists of judges, human rights lawyers, economists, political analysts, academics and human rights activists.

 

 

[2] The Ruling is available here (in spanish, english version to follow shortly)

 

[3] The full EU Latin American and Caribbean Summit takes place in Madrid today, 18 May 2010. The regional summits EU-Andean Community and EU-Central America take place tomorrow, 19 May. On 16-17 May regional summits with Mexico, Chile, Cariforum and Mercosur took place. More information about the EU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/lac/index_en.htm

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