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Report Shows Bank Projects Lead To Massive Displacement In Latin America

Failure to enforce its own policies, lack of consultation with affected parties and insistence on megaprojects have had devastating consequences on the very citizens the Bank claims to help.

A new study to be released Friday, shows that megaprojects financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have caused, or will cause, severe displacement of local populations in Latin America.

Laura Carlsen, Director of the CIP Americas Program, stated, “Our findings indicate that these Bank-financed projects are displacing vulnerable populations and that in many cases, the projects don’t even comply the Bank´s own guidelines on displacement.”

Carlsen added, “The IDB should analyze these cases and make sure that its projects avoid displacement. The social and cultural costs are just too high, and in many cases the megaprojects are not justified by the greater social good.”

The report, a joint project of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and the Center for International Policy’s Americas Program, analyzes Bank-financed hydroelectric dam construction in Brazil (Cana Brava) and Mexico (La Parota), palm oil production in Colombia and a tourism megaproject in Honduras (Tela Bay). It finds that Bank priorities on megaproject construction often violate its own guidelines and other international norms on displacement.

NALACC director, Oscar Chacon, stated, “The significance of megaprojects financed by the IDB in the name of development hasn’t been studied in relation to the impact on internal and international migration. For NALACC, as an organization of Latin American migrant communities living in the diaspora of globalization, this issue is central.”

The study also finds that violations of human rights in displacement and relocation are compounded by the fact that the affected populations are primarily indigenous, Afro-descendant and small farmers, with women bearing a special burden.

It concludes by calling on the Bank to comply with or surpass existing standards on avoiding and compensating for displacement, and to take into account longer-term effects of forced migration on vulnerable populations.


http://www.cancuncenter.com/esp/

Presentation of the report and discussion on Friday March 19, 3-5 p.m. at the Unicaribe University in Cancún:

 http://www.unicaribe.edu.mx/

Copies of the report are available on our websites:

Americas Program: http://americas.irc-online.org/    NALACC http://www.nalacc.org/

Contact Person: Michael Collins at michael.americas@gmail.com 



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