Activities carried out
During the preliminary analysis phase and definition of the study’s scope, several actions were carried out:
- Identification of the indigenous communities that could be impacted by the project. According to the Colombian government, 30 communities are identified that would be impacted, in this case, the indigenous communities of the Wayuu people. According to Repsol's policy, the unique nature of these indigenous peoples is recognized and respected, as well as their rights in accordance with the country's legislation and the Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
- Baseline study. The objective was to determine the level of human rights prior to implementing the project to know the baseline situation and subsequently identify the potential impacts after the project’s implementation.
- Definition of the human rights to be evaluated, including those set forth in the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles related to the rights established in the International Labor Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, as well as the eight Fundamental Conventions implementing them. Additionally, in this case, the rights of indigenous peoples, women, national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, children, persons with disabilities, migrant workers and their families and, in situations of armed conflict, international humanitarian law were taken into account.
The impact identification and evaluation was carried out with a participatory approach and respect for indigenous cultures with participation by a multidisciplinary team of internal experts and local and international human rights consultants. Repsol's methodology was previously presented to the traditional authorities of the Wayuu people. The interviews were conducted between March and April 2018 in Alta Guajira, by a team familiar with the area and its customs. The interviews were conducted ensuring diversity to ensure active participation by the communities.
Results of the study
The conclusions of the study were shared with the indigenous communities through meetings with broad participation in the local language (wayunikki) where aspects related to territoriality, loss of young people’s identity, and labor, economic, women's and environmental rights were identified.
However, the most relevant impact identified was the protection of sacred spaces.. If the project were to be implemented, it would be carried out in a geographic area that the Wayuu people identify as Jepira, which includes mythical and sacred spaces for this ethnic group, in such a way that the culture and the very existence of the Wayuu people could be put at risk.
After analysing the cultural impact and determining that there were no possible mitigation measures, the company's decision was not to continue operations in this block, in line with our policy of recognizing and respecting communities’ cultural diversity.
This case was presented at the European Parliament in Brussels during the "Companies and Due Diligence in Latin America" private event in 2019.