El Paso, Cesar – November, 2018

At a formal and festive ceremony this week, members of the community of El Hatillo celebrated the achievement of one of the most important milestones in the process with the mining companies Drummond, Grupo Prodeco and CNR: signing of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP).

This event will shape the future  of the inhabitants of this town after a widely participatory process that included: formulation, negotiation and endorsement of the conditions that will guarantee the reestablishment of the quality of life of more than 200 El Hatillo families.

The RAP document agreed upon is based on the guidelines for involuntary resettlement of the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, and deals with the components of habitat and housing, economic activities, and the social and cultural networks of the inhabitants of this town.

The formulation process of the RAP included the presence and participation of guarantors and accompanying entities, among them the Office of the Defender of the People, the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA: Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales), the Presidential Advisor for Human Rights and International Affairs, the departmental government of Cesar, the National Mining Agency (ANM: Agencia Nacional de Minería), the municipal government and Personería Municipal of El Paso, CORPOCESAR and some ministries.

“We are very happy to be able to celebrate this very important moment. We acknowledge the commitment of all of the actors but especially of the representatives of the community, who adopted dialogue, tolerance and respect as the “golden rules” for achieving healthy and smooth negotiations. We, likewise, highlight the verification work of the project inspectorate and the technical development of the operator Socya,” said José Link, Manager of the Technical Team for Resettlement, in representation of the mining companies.

On his part, the spokesman of the committee of representatives of the community of El Hatillo, Jesualdo Vega, said, “We feel good because we know that the compensation measures agreed upon with the mining companies guarantee a better quality of life for the families of our community. Signing of the RAP allows us to make our dream of having a new El Hatillo a reality.”

Certainly, this milestone is of great importance for all of the parties, and while the resettlement takes place, the mining companies are committed to continuing to create benefits for the community, as well as to continue the agreements with the municipal government of El Paso and the programs with partners to strengthen the areas of health, education, sports, culture, income generation, and support to the elderly and children.