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Akubadaura Releases its Report on the Evolution and Challenges of Prior Consent and Ethnic Peoples in Colombia

With an analysis of four national cases of prior consent processes with indigenous peoples that were accompanied by Akubadaura, the Law Collective releases its report in which it analyzes the Free, Prior and Informed Consent -FPIC- in Colombia (CPLI for its acronym in spanish), emphasizing on its scopes, historical evolution, including an interpretation of the laws on the matter. For this, the report presents a map of the implementation of the FPIC. 

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In the report, entitled “Scope and legal evolution of the right to prior consent in Colombia: legislative measures, projects, works, activities and emblematic cases”, readers will find a collection of international law norms and principles, criteria and rules on FPIC specially introduced by the Constitutional Court. 

In the investigation, an interdisciplinary team found that in Colombia between 1991 and 2018 the Constitutional Court issued at least 200 rulings between guardianships, constitutionality and unification rulings.

Based on data from the Ministry of Interior, the report reveals that between 1995 and 2018, 5,105 possible consultation processes were carried out in 284 municipalities, in which indigenous communities participated. The report also shows that between 2013 and 2017, 3,241 prior consultation processes were carried out in the country.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, five sectors concentrate 83 percent of the Prior Consent processes in Colombia. The hydrocarbon sector represents 31 percent of the processes (1,578 processes), the environmental  sector 18 percent, the electricity sector 14 percent, 12 percent processes carried out within the framework of the issuance of administrative measures and 8 percent those of infrastructure projects. Precisely a constant in the investigation was whether these processes met the standards for the guarantee of rights for ethnic communities, or not.

In Court Rulings it has been recognized that Free, Prior and Informed Consultation and Consent are a natural right, a tool for inter-ethnic dialogue and peace building, and an instrument for the protection of ecosystems and planetary life. However, those court decisions do not always turn into reality. The report concludes that in Colombia there are deep conflicts between the sources of the right to FPIC and its translation into practices carried out in consultation processes.

The Akubadaura team aspires that the report, with the case studies, conclusions and recommendations, becomes a contribution to the actions of public discussion, training, institutional monitoring, political advocacy, strategic litigation and research around the FPIC as one of the topics, central to the agenda of local, national or international actors, who contribute to the defense of the rights of ethnic peoples.

At the same time of the release of the report, Akubadaura launches the National Information System in Prior, Free and Informed Consent, a tool that allows searching and monitoring online and in real time, the prior consultation processes that are developed in ethnic territories. The System has a database with more than a thousand records of Prior Consultation processes. On this portal, ethnic organizations will be able to register and update information and progress on the FPIC processes that take place in their territory.

For a copy of the Report please contact us at: [email protected]