The North-South Institute


Governance of Natural Resources

Extractives and Ethnic Rights in Colombia

As governments, companies, non-governmental organizations and ethnic communities address increased investment in extractives in Colombia, critical questions arise on how to ensure policies and practices are more aligned with respecting the human rights enshrined in Colombian and international legal frameworks, particularly in the context of internal armed conflict.

The North-South Institute and our partners in Colombia, Proceso de Comunidades Negras, a national Afro-Colombian organization, and the Resguardo Indígena Cañamomo Lomaprieta, an Indigenous Reserve representing 32 Embera Chamí communities in Caldas, are pleased to announce the publication of several documents related to our 30-month collaborative project titled, “Towards the Development of Standards and Mechanisms to protect Ethnic Peoples Affected by Extractives: Implementing Free, Prior and Informed consent and prior consultation in the context of the Colombian armed conflict.”  The project was led by Viviane Weitzner, former Senior Researcher, Governance of Natural Resources, The North-South Institute.

Funded by the Ford Foundation, the International Development Research CentreUnited States Agency for International Development, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rights & Democracy, the principal objective of this participatory action research project  was to undertake primary research that:

  • Strengthens project participants (through awareness-raising of rights and the extractive sector, and strengthening research, organizational and networking capacities);
  • Highlights and clarifies their perspectives on, and strategies for, territorial control and development; and
  • Sheds new light on the debate around human rights standards and mechanisms to hold to account companies operating in Colombia, with a focus on extractive activities affecting ethnic communities.

Project activities were undertaken through intercultural, gendered and human rights lenses. For a more detailed description of the project, the partners and activities, please see the project brochure, available in English and Spanish.


Report: Holding Extractive Companies to Account in Colombia: An evaluation of CSR instruments through the lens of Indigenous and Afro-Descendent Rights, by Viviane Weitzner, July 2012

Report: Colombia Synthesis Document: From Consultation to Consent, by Viviane Weitzner, July 2012

Report: Strategies and Mechanisms of Protection Against Indigenous Mining and Energy Projects: Experience the Lomaprieta Cañamomo Indian Reservation, by Federico Herrera and Andrés Felipe Garcia, June 2012

Report: Caught in the Crossfire: Indigenous Peoples, Black Communities and Extractives in Colombia, by Viviane Weitzner, April 2012

Summary Report: Workshop on the impacts of mining and other extractive projects on Ethnic Territories, by Viviane Weitzner, Gladys Jimeno, Plutarco Sandoval and Federico Herrera, August 2011

Report: Experience of La Toma, Suarez, by Federico Herrera and Andrés Felipe Garcia, July 2011

Summary Report: Workshop-Gathering on Free, Prior and Informed Consent and Prior Consultation for Indigenous Peoples and Black Communities – International and Colombian standards in the Extractive Sector, by Viviane Weitzner, Gladys Jimeno, Plutarco Sandoval and Federico Herrera, July 2010

Guidebooks for Mining-Affected Communities:

Consultation and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, by Gladys Jimeno, Plutarco Sandoval, Federico Herrera and Walter Sanchez, with guidance from Viviane Weitzner, May 2012

Mining and Communities: Conflict Transformation in Favor of the Rights of Indigenous and Black Communities, by Jose de Echave (CooperAcción, Peru), Gladys Jimeno, Plutarco Sandoval, Federico Herrera, with guidance from Viviane Weitzner, February 2012

Investigating Participatory Action: Preliminary ideas towards the construction of a joint methodologyby Viviane Weitzner, Gladys Jimeno, Plutarco Sandoval and Federico Herrera, February 2012


Rights to Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent
Produced by: Walter Sanchez

Ancestral Artisanal Mining: A Life and Resistance Option
Written by: Frederico Herrero, Produced by: Alex Hanao and Jeison Aguirre Part 1 | Part 2

The Territory is Our Heritage and Law 
Written by: Frederico Herrero, Produced by: Alex Hanao and Jeison Aguirre Part 1 | Part 2

Prior Consultation and Consent, Free and Informed: Rights for the survival of Ethnic Groups 
Written by: Frederico Herrero, Produced by: Alex Hanao and Jeison Aguirre Part 1 | Part 2

An approach to the implementation of the rights to consultation and free, prior and informed
Produced By: Jhon Jairo Alvarez