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EPM advances in the prior consultation with the Nutabe indigenous community

By BNamericas Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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In its commitment to citizenship, EPM advances in the prior consultation with the Nutabe indigenous community, which inhabited the village of Orobajo, municipality of Sabanalarga and which is now restored to its living conditions by the Ituango hydroelectric project.

In this way, the company complies with Resolution 071 of May 19, 2017, through which the Ministry of the Interior registers the indigenous community of Orobajo del Pueblo Nutabe, in the registry of indigenous communities of the country, as well as the Resolution No.08 of March 2018, from the same ministry, which establishes the beginning of the prior consultation process between the Nutabe de Orobajo indigenous community and the Ituango hydroelectric project.

Background

It is important to remember that during the realization of the previous studies that the Ituango hydroelectric project did in the territory, specifically in the village of Orobajo, in order to obtain the environmental license for the work, a self-identified community was found as peasant and gunboat, with a communal organization around a Community Action Board (JAC) and some differential features of its geographical isolation.

During all the phases - before, during and after the start of the construction of the Ituango hydroelectric project - different certifications were issued by the competent institutions, in which it was reported that in the area of the future power plant there was no presence of ethnic communities, a panorama that allowed EPM, as a developer of the project, within the framework of the information and participation contemplated in the legal system, to carry out concertation processes with the communities that would be impacted, without the obligation to advance a prior consultation .

Under the legal security provided by the certifications issued by the Ministry of the Interior, the project agreed and began the transfer of the families that lived in the Llano de Orobajo, within the framework of the program of Integral Restitution of Living Conditions and under the full respect for their family and community customs and practices. However, since December 2014, the Nutabe Cabildo initiated an ethnic claim process, which is recognized by the Ministry of the Interior. Given this fact, there is the consultation process in the construction phase of the Ituango hydroelectric project.

In total, the census that is registered in the Ministry of the Interior of the Nutabe de Orobajo indigenous community is of 57 families which is equivalent to 174 people, who now live in rural areas of the municipalities of Ituango and Sabanalarga, where their homes have been restored. by EPM and consolidate their productive projects. EPM maintains a constant support for the development of its economic activities, the study of children, access to health and institutional services.

The query

In order to advance the consultation process, EPM signed an association agreement with the Governor Nutabe de Orobajo, Edy Sucerquia, so that according to the autonomy of the community, specialized advice is chosen and contracted between the community and the company, aspects that EPM considers as fundamental. In exercise of its autonomy, the Nutabe community chose the advice of the firm Huella Verde, expert in previous consultations in the country.

Huella Verde opened the characterization phase of the Nutabe community, which includes ceremonial activities, workshops and tours according to their uses and customs. It is expected that this phase will conclude in January 2019 with an impact workshop, a fundamental milestone of the aforementioned route, which is coordinated by the Directorate of prior consultation of the Ministry of the Interior, with the presence of guarantors of the process and the rights of the communities and people, among which are the municipal authorities, the mayors and the Ombudsman.

Assorted the workshops ordered by the methodological route, it is expected to finish the consultation process in March. After the development of the concertations, the impact workshop will be carried out that will finally establish the collective impacts with respect to the community. Later, a workshop will be held to build the management measures for these impacts, a space from which the agreements will be released to conclude the protocolization of the handling of the impacts.

EPM has the will to reach agreements within the framework of this process and in this way strengthen the cultural and ethnic aspects of the community of Orobajo and assumes as a commitment the attention of this consultation, given that the restitution of the conditions of life of the families impacted by the works of the Ituango project is part of the Environmental Management Plan of the Project.

This EPM release was published using an automatic translation system.

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