Rio Cauca, Colombia. Photo by John Jairo Jaramillo, via Flickr.
“If this is what they call development, I don’t want to know what destruction is.” -Isabel Zuleta, of Movimiento Ríos Vivos
Sign our letter to the IDB Board urging them to investigate the dangerous Hidroituango dam.
Communities devastated by the construction of Colombia’s Hidroituango dam have a shot at justice. But right now, access to that justice lies in the hands of the Board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and they’ve already failed us once.
For more than ten years, communities have fought the Hidroituango dam, which threatens people’s homes and livelihoods, is destroying fragile ecosystems, and has exacerbated violence within an active conflict zone. In May 2018, flooding caused by construction failures forced over 25,000 people to evacuate, and the situation has only worsened. People have lost their homes, livelihoods, access to food, and even their lives because of this dam.
In addition to ongoing human rights violations, members of Movimiento Ríos Vivos, the coalition representing people impacted by the dam, have been the targets of ongoing threats, harassment, and violence.
The IDB has policies and safeguards meant precisely to protect people and the environment from harm. So why aren’t they being enforced for this project? And why is this project still moving forward?
Last month, the IDB Board absolved itself of any responsibility for the harms caused by the Hidroituango dam, when they refused to investigate the IDB’s role in financing its construction. But we have a second chance. In the coming weeks, the Board will decide whether or not to approve an investigation into the role of its private lending arm, IDB Invest.