Consulta previa, poor observance slated

08 April 2019

Last week we highlighted the efforts being made in Puno to ensure that the principle of consulta previa (free, prior and informed consultation) with indigenous communities is respected, and how some judicial decisions seem to be moving towards its acceptance as a legal norm. This week, DAR (Derechos, Ambiente, Recursos Naturales) has issued a statement calling for the full application of consulta previa in all cases of extractive development.

DAR’s opinion piece recognises that some progress has been made, especially on cases in the Amazon jungle relating to hydrocarbons and infrastructure. Significant in this regard have been the judicial decisions respecting consulta previa in the case of the hidrovia project in Loreto region, a project that threatens seriously to disrupt livelihoods of indigenous peoples living in the Amazonia.

The right to consulta previa has been largely ignored when applied to mining concessions in the highlands. The Sociedad Nacional de Minería, Petroleo y Energía, representing mining companies, has vociferously lobbied against consulta previa as an obstacle to investment in the sector. It exercises much political heft when it comes to making government decisions.

As we recommended in our report on mining in Peru, presented two weeks ago in Lima and in Cuzco, proper consultation with communities is an absolute prerequisite to successful negotiation between these and mining companies. And not only should such consultation be previa but should take place throughout the life of a mining project.

All articles

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member