PRESS RELEASE: Catholic Church will present before the IACHR its vision of effects of extractive industries activities on Human Rights in Latin America

March 18, 2015

Washington DC, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. On Thursday, March 19 a public hearing on “Human Rights and Extractive Industries in Latin America” will be held at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington DC.

In this hearing, the Office of Justice and Solidarity of the  Latin American Bishops' Council (Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano - CELAM), the Pan- Amazonian network (Red Eclesial Pan Amazónica – REPAM), the Latin American and Carribbean Secretariat of Caritas (SELACC), the  Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Men and Women Religious (Confederación Latinoamericana  y Caribeña de Religiosos y Religiosas - CLAR), and the Amazon Commission of the National Bishops Conference of Brazil (Comision Amazonica de la Conferencia Nacional de Obispos de Brasil - CNBB) will present the Catholic Church position on the human rights violations of indigenous and rural populations affected by extractive industries in Latin America. They will also present some emblematic cases from Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico and Peru in which the Church has played a pivotal role, and will propose some recommendation to the States and civil society of the continent.

During the hearing, the Catholic Church delegation will deliver a report that highlights cases of human rights violations committed by extractive industries and where the Catholic Church has played a relevant role. The report also notes that many States of the region remain indifferent towards these practices. The report highlights as common practices the criminalization of human rights defenders and serious damages to health, personal integrity and life, especially among indigenous and rural communities.

Finally, the report highlights the need to adopt a sustainable development model in Latin America that balances economic development, human rights and environment needs.


Hearing Participants:

  • Monseñor Pedro Barreto, S.J., Archbishop of Huancayo (Peru) and President of the Justice and Solidarity Office of CELAM
  • Dom. Roque Paloschi, Bishop of Roraima and member of the Amazon Commission of the CNBB
  • Monseñor Álvaro Ramazzini, Bishop of Huehuetenango (Guatemala) and President of the Justice and Solidarity Commission of the Council of Bishops of Guatemala
  • Mauricio López Oropeza, National Director of Caritas Ecuador and Executive Secretary of REPAM
  • David Lovatón, of the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) and advisor to CELAM on this hearing.

Also accompanying the delegation:

  • Bishop Donald Bolen, President of Justice and Peace Commission of the National Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)
  • Richard Coll and Cecilia Calvo, advisors to the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 



Date: Thursday, March19, 2015

Hour: 2:00-3:00pm

Location: Salón Padilha Vidal, GSB building of the OAS, 1889 F St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006

The hearing will be on live webcast here (English interpretation available) 

For more information about this hearing or to book an interview with any of the participants please contact:

David Lovatón
Due process of Law Foundation
(202) 462 7701