FMO’s Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM) determined that the complaint submitted by Panamanian indigenous communities has met its admissibility criteria and will move on to the next phase. The complaint, filed on May 5 2014, alleged that FMO failed to ensure free prior and informed consent was obtained before financing the Barro Blanco hydropower project that would result in the flooding of indigenous lands.
“We are pleased that the ICM has acted so quickly to move the complaint to the next phase. Time is of the essence now, as the construction of the dam nears completion,” said Kristen Genovese of the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). The ICM’s independent experts will next begin to discuss the issues with the parties and review available documentation related to the project. Following this preliminary review phase, the ICM will determine whether to convene a dialogue, conduct an investigation, or both.
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07-05-2015: Local groups in Panama have filed a complaint, on May 5th, against the Dutch Development Bank FMO. This bank has invested 25 million USD in the Barro Blanco hydropower project on the Tabasará River in western Panama. The local community states that FMO fails to respect its own environmental and social standards. As a result, the bank is violating international agreements on the rights of indigenous peoples.
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