This research evaluates the implementation and practice of the right to prior consultation of indigenous peoples in three Andean countries: Peru; Ecuador and Bolivia. This critical evaluation will be made from the international human rights perspective.
Researcher: Amelia Alva-Arévalo
While Latin America is a region with high economic growth, important sectors of its population are still excluded from the benefits this has brought. Indigenous peoples are part of this excluded sector. On top of being historically marginalized, they do not enjoy economic benefits and support for the extractive activities taking place in their territories, which threaten/violate their rights and even their very existence every day. Projects usually involve irrational use of strategic natural resources, which collides with their vision of development, based on ancestral traditions and customs which, in short, also implies respect for the natural environment around them. This has been demonstrated in various indigenous mobilizations in recent years, especially in the Andean countries.
Indigenous peoples have called for the wise use of resources, the share of profits generated by extractive activities in their territories and, above all, respect for their right to be consulted, because through its exercise they have the ability to defend other important rights for subsistence, including the right to territory, cultural identity, to live in a healthy environment. It also allows them to express their views, proposals and give their consent in relation to any measure that directly affects them, they may propose the development model they want for themselves and future generations and so be co-responsible of state decisions.