Impacts of Repsol YPF for indigenous people in Bolivia

Impacts of Repsol YPF for indigenous people in Bolivia

By APG - Itika Guasu

In Bolivia REPSOl YPF has concessions in 16 indigenous territories and in 7 protected areas. The present report prepared by the Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu, aims to evaluate the social and environmental practices of the multinational oil corporation REPSOL YPF in ancestral indigenous territories of the Bolivian Chaco.

Environmental, Social and Cultural Impacts of Repsol YPF in indigenous territories of Bolivia


The present report prepared by the Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu, aims to evaluate the social and environmental practices of the multinational oil corporation REPSOL YPF in ancestral indigenous territories of the Bolivian Chaco. It was carried out between June and August 2005, through a participatory process in which the Guarani families of the affected communities denounced the actions of REPSOL YPF in their territory and the indigenous monitors of Itika Guasu verified the impacts. The independent indigenous monitoring process is carried out with the technical support of the Industries Social Surveillance Program

Extractives from CEADES JUAN XXIII, and the accompaniment of the Center for Regional Studies of Tarija CER - DET.

Although in Bolivia REPSOL YPF - multinational of Spanish origin - has concessions in 16 indigenous territories and in 7 protected areas, the report focuses on the analysis of REPSOL YPF operations in the Community Land of Origin TCO (1) from Itika Guasu, O'Connor province of the department of Tarija; where the operations of the Margarita Field are developed, belonging to the Kaipipendi Block; the TCO Tentayapi, located in the Luis Calvo Province of the department of Chuquisaca and the protected area National Park and Natural Area and Integrated Management PN - ANMI Serranías de Aguaragüe, in the Gran Chaco Province of the department of Tarija.

In order to carry out this report, the information provided by the Itika Guasu Indigenous Monitors has been evaluated, who between May 2004 and March 2005 have monitored the operations of the company in their territory, all this information has been contrasted with the commitments assumed by the company with the Bolivian State, through the EEIA Environmental Impact Assessment Studies. It is also contrasted with the fulfillment of indigenous rights recognized in Bolivia through international treaties and in the new sector regulations (Hydrocarbons Law 3058) that reaffirms the Indigenous Rights recognized in ILO Convention 169 - Law of the Republic of Bolivia No. 1257 of

1991 -. Finally, compliance with REPSOL YPF's international commitments in instances such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are considered.

We present an Executive Summary of the Indigenous Report, it has evidenced a series of irregularities carried out by the multinational corporation REPSOL YPF, therefore, in addition to making an evaluation of the social, environmental and cultural impacts on the TCO of Itika Guasu, the report presents a series of recommendations to both the Bolivian State and the REPSOL YPF corporation.

We hope that based on this Report, it will be possible to have better criteria to understand the actions of REPSOL YPF in Bolivia, to contribute to improving the policies and practices of the company in indigenous territories; provide elements to adapt REPSOL YPF operations to the new regulatory framework, ensuring the exercise of indigenous rights; and contribute to the search for sustainable solutions to the serious impacts suffered by indigenous communities affected by REPSOL YPF operations.

Executive Summary

The activities of the REPSOL YPF company in Bolivia are promoted thanks to the Hydrocarbons Law 1689 of 1996, which opens the possibility of the entry of transnational companies into the country with social and environmental standards far below those established in the World Bank and its operational guidelines or in the OECD principles and guidelines.

Product of an otherwise weakened position of the Bolivian State, the company REPSOL YPF takes full advantage of the facilities and appropriates oil concessions without considering that they are in indigenous territories that in Bolivia have the category of Community Lands of Origin TCO's regulated by the Law of the National Agrarian Reform Service SNRA 1715 of October 18, 1996 (known as the INRA Law), nor that its concessions are in areas that due to their ecological and social sensitivity are protected by the State through the National Service of SERNAP protected areas. Therefore, the actions of REPSOL YPF in Bolivia directly and indirectly affect both indigenous territories 16 in total, and protected areas (national parks, wildlife reserves) 7 in total.

Contrasting the actions of REPSOL YPF with what is established in its own environmental policies, with the normative instruments on the rights of indigenous populations, the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and the new Hydrocarbons Law No. 3058 of May 17, 2005, We have evidenced a set of transgressions that undermine its environmental principles because it operates in the protected areas of Bolivia without having studies that start from the precautionary principle, it operates in the TCO Itika Guasu with Environmental Impact Studies without considering social and cultural aspects, causing therefore negative impacts on the Guaraní people close to the ethnocide (2).

This report has allowed us to show that the actions of REPSOL YPF in Bolivia have been covered by a sectorial regulation Law 1689 with standards below those established in the international sphere and sectorial laws such as the Environment that allow oil activity violates precautionary principles and social and environmental standards established by the World Bank and the OECD itself, in this way, it can be said that REPSOL YPF does in Bolivia what it is not allowed to do in any European country, which says very little of its commitment to transparency and ethics established in the EITI.

The indigenous monitoring that has allowed the preparation of this report, has reached the following conclusions:

• It has been shown that the operations of REPSOL YPF in the TCO Itika Guasu, TCO Tentayape and the PN ANMI Serranías del Aguaragüe are causing negative environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts, they have not been considered in their EEIA therefore, they do not have actions that can avoid, mitigate, prevent or restore such impacts.

• REPSOL YPF does not have a policy aimed at safeguarding the rights of indigenous populations, this is causing their presence in the TCOs to have a high cultural impact, similar to ethnocide.

• REPSOL YPF in Bolivia does not comply with its principles, mission and vision that it publishes in its reports. Its actions in Bolivia are lacking in transparency, the operations of the company in the TCOs are unethical, producing acts of abuse against indigenous communities. Its environmental policy that establishes the "precautionary principle" is not reflected in the EEIAs that have allowed it to obtain environmental licenses, it does not even fully comply with the commitments it has assumed in said studies.

• By not having a policy of relations with indigenous peoples that safeguards their rights, REPSOL YPF in Bolivia, addresses the human rights of indigenous communities, and also addresses the collective rights of indigenous peoples established in international treaties and national laws, therefore that it is proven that REPSOL YPF has not respected the right to consultation and the right to fair compensation.

• In Bolivia, REPSOL YPF fails to comply with national laws such as ILO Convention 169, which has been the law of the Republic since 1991. Also to date, it is resisting compliance with the new Hydrocarbons Law where they have established more precisely how it must be the behavior of oil companies in indigenous territories and protected areas.

• In order to obtain its environmental permits, REPSOL YPF has not acted with the scientific rigor necessary to guarantee that its actions will not be harmful to the environment, it intervenes in protected areas such as Aguaragüe without previously carrying out the pertinent scientific studies that allow guaranteeing the integrity of ecosystems.

• In Bolivia REPSOL YPF does not act with transparency, does not respect national laws, does not implement adequate standards that guarantee an activity with Social Responsibility.

For all this, the Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu makes the following recommendations to the Bolivian State:

to. It is the responsibility of the State to protect and promote Human Rights, to safeguard the cultural integrity of indigenous populations, it is the obligation of the Bolivian State to stop all transgressions of the law that have occurred since 1996 to date by oil companies against the peoples indigenous peoples, against protected areas, so in compliance with what is established in Law 3058, the State and its competent bodies must intervene with greater decision in the processes of inspection and adaptation to the new norm.

b. The compensation processes that have taken place to date have had the disadvantage of deficient EEIA, inappropriate in their assessment and quantification of direct, accumulated and long-term impacts, for this reason, oil companies such as REPSOL YPF cannot be considered to have made fair compensation payments. It is the duty of the Bolivian State to audit all the social and environmental compensation processes that have occurred to date, in order to identify those in which the oil company has acted in contravention of the provisions of Law 1257, of In this way, the provisions of the new hydrocarbon law 3058 will begin to be applied.

c. The Itika Guasu TCO is the best example of oil intervention processes with a total absence of the State in the control processes, that is why there have been so many violations of the laws, since the Margarita Field is one of the most important gas reservoirs in the country, a Social Environmental Audit should be carried out, which allows identifying all the social, cultural and environmental impacts that have occurred, that are occurring and that could occur, in order to redirect the process of exploitation of energy resources in such a way that the sustainability of said undertaking is guaranteed by first guaranteeing the cultural integrity of the Guaraní people affected by the REPSOL YPF company and the integrity of the natural resources that are at stake in the exploitation phase of said field that has REPSOL YPF company planned.

d. Once the deadlines established by law have been met for oil companies to migrate their contracts on a mandatory basis, new contracts must be signed with oil companies based on the new hydrocarbon regulations, they must guarantee compliance with the Indigenous Rights and the environmental adaptation of all EEIAs to the new regulations in force since May 2005.

and. We consider that currently, the necessary adaptation of contracts between oil companies and the Bolivian State offers the opportunity to correct all these pending issues, for this the Bolivian State must correctly face the process of entering into new contracts, so that they are guarantee respect for indigenous rights and REPSOL's obligation to have a special relationship with indigenous populations affected by its operations, within the framework of the application and compliance with the new hydrocarbons law.

The Guaraní indigenous monitoring has provided the necessary lights to make the following recommendations with a view to getting REPSOL YPF to modify its practices and implement standards appropriate to the objectives of sustainability, efficiency and respect for human rights:

to. REPSOL YPF cannot continue operating in the country, affecting 16 indigenous territories, without having a policy aimed at safeguarding the rights of indigenous peoples. Within the framework of respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, the policy must be drawn up in consultation with and with the participation of the representative organizations of the affected indigenous communities and peoples.

b. REPSOL YPF receives financing from the World Bank, it has adhered to the UN principles of Social Responsibility, it is a member of the EITI, these bodies have clear principles regarding the practices that companies must assume in relation to indigenous populations. It is necessary that all REPSOL YPF officials who work in our country be trained to modify discriminatory behaviors that have been taking place in indigenous territories. It cannot be possible that in the XXI Century, REPSOL YPF continues to act as in the colonial era, trying to impose its cultural logic on indigenous populations.

c. Confusing good neighborliness with the right of communities to receive fair compensation for environmental, social and cultural impacts, as REPSOL YPF intends to do in undertakings such as the Yacuiba Río Grande GASYRG Gas Pipeline or the actual use of the Margarita Field, is an irresponsible practice and illegal. For this reason, REPSOL YPF must review all the agreements that it has made with the indigenous peoples of Bolivia and move towards respecting the law. Where you practice “good neighborliness” you must also practice respect for fair compensation, for direct, accumulated and long-term impacts, as established by Law 3058.

d. REPSOL YPF must apply social and environmental standards in accordance with the international system. It is known that in countries like ours, environmental and social standards are below those required by the European Union. As a sign of its adherence to human rights, which are universal, Repsol YPF must abide by the most demanding standards and the most socially appropriate practices, it cannot be possible for REPSOL YPF to consider and apply minimum standards with indigenous populations and abide by standards higher with European populations.

REPSOL YPF cannot continue to intervene in protected areas without considering their fragility. By principle of prevention, it should renounce said concessions and demand the protection of said areas from the State. In the event that it considers that its actions will not be harmful, it should carry out independent studies prior to carrying out any type of operation; Said independent environmental-social studies should be public knowledge and if they are close to indigenous peoples, they should be disseminated, adapting it to the socio-cultural context. REPSOL YPF has to learn to relate to local communities within the framework of interculturality and respect for human rights.

* APG - Itika Guasu
Independent Indigenous Monitoring - Assembly of the Guaraní People
Executive Summary
Tarija - Bolivia
December 2005

(1) “Community Lands of Origin (TCO) .- They are the geographical spaces that constitute the habitat of indigenous and native peoples and communities, to which they have traditionally had access and where they maintain and develop their own forms of economic, social and cultural organization, so that they ensure their survival and development.

They will be considered Community Lands of Origin those that are titled, those that are sued with an Admission Order, those immobilized with an immobilization Resolution and all those traditionally recognized as such " Title X, Article 138. Law 3058.

(2) Understanding this as cultural death, product of the denial of culture. This cultural denial by the multinational corporation is causing the imposition of another cultural system, another way of life and vision of the world.

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