“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

In 2015, negotiations began on the regional agreement on access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters. From that moment on, meetings of the Negotiating Committee took place, in which the text proposals of the countries regarding the preliminary document of the regional agreement were discussed, reviewed and approved. This document consists of a preamble and twenty-five articles.

This process was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20) in 2012, with the Declaration on the Application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. In November 2014, the countries approved the Santiago Decision, through which they began the negotiation of a regional instrument on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. . This, with significant public participation and the support of ECLAC, in its capacity as Technical Secretariat. The Declaration currently has 24 signatory countries, with the recent incorporation of Saint Lucia and is open to the accession of all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the Seventh Meeting of the Committee, held in Buenos Aires from July 31 to August 4, 2017, the articles on Access to Information and Public Participation (6th, 7th and 8th) were agreed upon. However, representatives of society were quick to show their concern about the serious setback in the progress of the negotiations. After this seventh meeting, civil society made the following recommendations to be able to guarantee the correctness of the negotiations:

1. The participation of the UN and IACHR rapporteurs related to these rights, since the standards of the Inter-American Human Rights System on the rights of access to information, participation and environmental justice could be weakened by the agreements to which they are arriving in the negotiations of Principle 10.

2. The evaluation by governments and ECLAC of the degree of progress and regressivity of the text that has been negotiated so far between the countries, since standards achieved at the national level in some countries and at the regional level have been reduced.

3. Link the Regional Agreement of Principle 10 and the 2030 Agenda, so that there is integration and coordination of both initiatives. Therefore, it is necessary that there are reports of compliance with the SDGs in our countries where information related to actions for the better implementation of Principle 10 is included.

4. Do not go back on the regime of exceptions that has been introduced into the text, which allows States more possibilities to deny information to citizens, but to guarantee the dissemination of the greatest amount of environmental information, such as pollutant emissions and studies. of environmental impact. In addition, recognize indigenous monitoring and monitoring, as a form of legitimate participation, an indispensable preventive measure to avoid environmental damage. Also, recognize the broad active legitimacy, which allows any person or group access to justice to protect the environment.

5. Include in the text, the duty of the states to GUARANTEE the rights of access to information, participation and environmental justice, and not use verbs such as “facilitate, promote and encourage”, thus contravening the current standards of rights humans.

6. A Regional Agreement on Principle 10 that is BINDING, that clearly incorporates the intercultural and gender approach in favor of vulnerable populations, especially indigenous peoples, and human rights defenders, in recognition of the reality of violence that they are facing in our countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In this regard, at the opening of the eighth meeting, Andrea Sanhueza elected representative of the public, said: “We have reached a turning point. This is the last opportunity to amend the course and return to the original spirit of the process. We can not allow environmental and social rights to remain the poor relatives of sustainable development. That is also why the agreement must ensure the protection of environmental defenders.”

Finally, that was one of the main results of the meeting, as the countries agreed to consecrate the protection of people who fight for the defense of human rights in environmental matters in the future regional agreement.

This means that the signatory countries were obliged to guarantee the recognition, protection and promotion of their rights to freedom of opinion, freedom of assembly, peaceful association, freedom of movement and the free exercise of their rights. The situation of defenders Environmental impacts in Latin America have been getting worse as the years have gone by. During 2016, more than 200 environmental defenders lost their lives in an effort to demand their rights violated. 60% of these cases were registered in the Latin American region. The fact that during the last negotiations of the Regional Agreement, it has been possible to incorporate an article that protects these people, is fundamental when it comes to advancing towards the effective guarantee of Human Rights.

At the meeting, other important advances were made on the final text of the regional instrument. Among them were articles on access to justice in environmental matters, and on capacity building and cooperation, and also approved most of the general obligations.

In addition, the main objective of the Agreement was approved, which seeks to “guarantee the full and effective implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the rights of access to environmental information, public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters. , as well as the creation and strengthening of capacities and cooperation, contributing to the protection of the right of each person and of present and future generations to live in a healthy environment and sustainable development “.

On the occasion of the meeting, experts from the UN issued a communiqué urging governments to adopt a firm agreement on environmental rights. “It is crucial that the governments of the region act in solidarity and accept legally binding norms to protect human rights and the environment,” they said.

At the end of the eighth meeting, the participants recognized the significant consensus and definitions reached on the text compiled by the Board of Directors in this week of negotiations and agreed to continue with the discussion of the articles still pending from the legal document (11 to 25) during the following meeting, which will be held in the first quarter of 2018 in San José, Costa Rica.

More information

– Pronouncement of civil society organizations

– Press release from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

– Message from the elected representatives of the public – Principle 10


Noelia Salvia

Agustina Palencia


María Perez Alsina <mariaperezalsina@fundeps.org>

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


Poder Ciudadano, el Centro de Investigación y Prevención de la Criminalidad Económica (CIPCE), la Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ), Fundación Nuestra Mendoza, Centro Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos (CLADH), Acción Ciudadana Areco, Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS), Fundación Transparencia Ciudadana y, la fundación Salta Transparente; We make up the Network of Anti-Corruption Organizations, with the aim of generating a concrete impact on public policies linked to the prevention and mitigation of corruption in all corners of the country.

Argentina is going through a crisis of systemic and structural corruption, which will continue to worsen as long as public policies and deep institutional reforms are not carried out, aimed at preventing and diminishing this scourge. In view of this situation, civil society organizations in general, and those working in the strengthening of democracy and the fight against corruption in particular, face great difficulties to achieve an effective impact on this issue; This is why it is necessary to propose a new strategy of systemic approach to generate substantial reforms.

The R.O.C.C. It was conceived as a dynamic space that will allow all its members to generate greater incidence in public policies, promote citizen participation and access to public information as essential tools in the fight against corruption, and even take concrete judicial actions jointly .

Among the objectives is the generation of discussion spaces on different problems related to the phenomenon of corruption and intervention mechanisms; the joint work in advocacy for the implementation of public policies whose purpose is to generate integrity systems at all levels of the State; and advise other social organizations on the implementation of anti-corruption tools and social control of public management.


Agustina Palencia <agustinapalencia@fundeps.org>

We were present at the Open Government Alliance Summit (OGP Summit), which took place in Paris from 7 to 9 December. Next, more information on what is OGP and what was the 4th meeting of this alliance.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic.”


What is OGP?

It is an initiative made up of more than 70 countries to promote open government policies. This implies that governments are accountable, more open, and better responsive to citizens. To be a party, States must adhere to the Open Government Statement, submit an approved action plan with a public consultation process and commit to periodic reporting. This initiative is also a space of articulation between civil society and governments, both locally and nationally.

What was the summit?

After the inaugural ceremony on December 7, 2016, panels and workshops related to a wide variety of issues related to open government were held during the next two days. These could vary between topics such as open data, citizen participation, use of communication and information technologies (ICTs), transparency in public tenders, among others. The different activities were also traversed by agendas such as climate change or gender.

More than 4000 people participated, including heads of state, thousands of representatives of civil society and people from the field of ICT. This culminated with the Paris Declaration. In addition to being a learning space on everything related to open government, the summit was an opportunity to create synergies among the different actors of civil society, as well as to create instances of collaboration with governments. In pursuit of a more democratic society, the Alliance provides opportunities to develop and promote open government reforms.

Subnational governments are also a part of

In the process of promoting open governments, cities and federal entities are also included. In relation to this, we were participating in the Regional Meeting of Subnational Entities by the Open Government and the Federal Open Government Meeting was held in Cordoba on December 15 and 16. In this last instance, efforts were made to make proposals for commitments at the national and provincial levels, so that Argentina should present its third action plan in 2017 and expect provincial commitments.

More information


Agustina Palencia – agustinapalencia@fundeps.org

Carolina Tamagnini – carotamagnini@fundeps.org

This working document presents a brief analysis of the current relations between the People’s Republic of China and Argentina in a national and international context; and taking into account aspects such as the relationship between the Asian giant and the Kirchner government, the change of government that took place in Argentina at the end of 2015, the Argentine economic reality and the election of the Republican Donald Trump as president of the United States.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


Like every year, during the month of November, the United Nations Forum on Human Rights and Business is held in Geneva. Whenever this event takes place, a particular theme is designated that will be the protagonist. This year, this theme has to do with: ‘access to repair mechanisms’.

The umbrella that protects this high-level meeting is subject to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Principles constitute the current tool to regulate the actions of national and transnational companies regarding human rights. They were born with the academic John Ruggie and were adopted by the United Nations in 2011, by the Human Rights Council, through resolution 17/4. The objectives of the Board at that time were: identify and clarify corporate responsibility standards; and clarify the role of states. To this end, the established guidelines were divided into three fundamental pillars: the duty of the State to protect human rights, the responsibility of companies to respect human rights and access to redress mechanisms.

The mandate of these guiding principles is to “reduce as much as possible the negative impacts of business on human rights in a short period of time“. They also have general characteristics: (a) they cover all States. (b) they cover all companies, of all sizes, in all sectors and in all countries. (c) identify different but complementary responsibilities between States and companies. (d) they do not create new legal obligations, they elaborate based on existing obligations and best practices for States and companies. (e) are based on the idea that it can not be compensated: positive impacts do not compensate for negative impacts on human rights elsewhere. (f) they are a mixture of regulatory and voluntary approaches.

The context that gave birth to these principles is not different from that of today. The actions of the companies (even after the adoption of the principles) and their consequences, continue to show that national and international regulatory frameworks have not met the objective of protecting human rights. During 2016 we have witnessed the largest massacre of human rights defenders. Around the world, vulnerable communities have been violated their rights (housing, health, life, a healthy environment, among others) because of the actions of companies and corporations.

This situation has shown that the guiding principles have not yet managed to become an effective preventive framework regarding human rights violations due to corporate actions. In this sense, it is understandable why in the session of the Forum this year 2017 has focused on access to reparation. This third pillar refers to the existence of effective remedies for victims of human rights violations. At the state level, it is expected that States take appropriate measures to investigate, punish and repair. On the part of the corporations, the principles encourage the existence of early warnings that identify negative impacts and allow resolving complaints before the situation escalates to more damaging scenarios.

Since DD.HH. are currently at the mercy of business activity, the role of the States becomes fundamental. Specifically in regard to the strengthening of regulatory frameworks at the domestic level. For this, an essential part of the obligations of the States has to do with: ensuring access to judicial and non-judicial mechanisms; and reduce the obstacles to access to justice. In this regard, it is necessary to emphasize that non-judicial mechanisms play a very important complementary role. Some of them include: State mechanisms, national human rights institutions, ombudsmen, complaints offices, National Contact Points (OECD), among others.

The application of the guiding principles by the States has been given through the form of National Plans of Action. It is expected that these plans will be constituted as instruments that:

– Promote greater coordination among government agencies with direct involvement in business issues and human rights.

– Promote the protection of human rights through due diligence in companies.

– Identify national priorities regarding this topic and translate them into concrete public policies

– Ensure monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the plan, in a continuous manner.

– Are based on a platform of continuous dialogue with all the actors involved (government, companies and civil society)

– Possess a flexible format for cooperation, coordination and international exchange of good practices and lessons learned.

– Strengthen regulations at the domestic level.

The result of the development of these plans around the world leaves much to be desired. There are still many States that have not embarked on this process and those that have done so have not succeeded in having their plans promote a framework strong enough to respect, protect and / or remedy.

The situation of widespread vulnerability to this problem has raised doubts about the effectiveness of the guiding principles, and a process to create a legally binding instrument has been developed at the same time. During the Forum, it is expected to debate about the roles that the principles and the binding treaty would occupy. Although opinions are divided (between those who support one initiative or another) it is necessary to clarify that the principles and the treaty are complementary. A binding instrument is a step forward with respect to the guidelines. To achieve this progress it is necessary to protect the autonomy of the process of construction of the treaty since, in short, this initiative would give greater impetus to the guiding principles, and would give greater and better content to the action plans.

More information

– Advancing towards a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights

– Discussions in Argentina regarding a business treaty and human rights

– We participate in the second regional consultation of ECLAC on human rights and companies


 Agustina Palencia, agustinapalencia@fundeps.org


Juan Carballo, juanmcarballo@fundeps.org

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


‘The open government honeymoon is over’. With that phrase, Nathaniel Heller, executive vice president of the OGP; He opened the days that took place at the Kirchner Cultural Center and sought to call for reflection on the effective application of the principles of the alliance.

Founded in 2011 from the initiative of the United States and Brazil in the General Assembly of the United Nations, the OGP has managed to nuclear to more than 70 nations. Until now, the alliance has become a repository of action plans and commitments of the various countries that make it up. The goals proposed by the States parties to this initiative have been aimed at improving standards of transparency, accountability and collaboration.

These principles proposed by the OGP, are no more than the original pillars of democracy. Open government is the ‘new’ paradigm that seeks to reformulate the role of the State with respect to citizenship. It seeks that institutions establish a ‘conversation’ with the populations, to make them participants in the processes of creation, execution and control of public policies.

Until 2017, most of the commitments in the action plans corresponded to actions to release data and access public information without the need to emphasize many issues that could be considered controversial (environment, health, gender, extractive industries, natural resources, financing of political parties, among others). However, this Regional Meeting aimed to highlight good practices regarding citizen participation, accountability and transparency applied precisely to these areas that have lately been in the eye of the storm of international politics. The inaugural phrase of this event (cited above) aimed to highlight the need for the OGP to go one step further and be able to tangibly demonstrate how its principles can effectively improve people’s lives.

So far, the efforts of the OGP States have sweetened the ears of those of us who share their principles. But it is necessary that there are specific actions aimed at shaping a new type of State. The problem with the AGA has been that so far it has placed too much emphasis on the National Executive Powers (PEN) and little on the other powers and even on the subnational governments. The structure of OGP until 2016 only managed to support PEN initiatives.

After the launch of the pilot program for subnational governments in 2016 and the incorporation of a greater number of commitments by the legislative and judicial branches in several countries; it can be said that OGP is expanding its spectrum. However, there is still much to be done to achieve a true institutionalization of this new culture of openness. The second problem with the alliance is that in most of the member countries, the entity at the institutional level responsible for carrying out the relationship with OGP, is not part of the national organizational structure and lacks its own budget. This situation leads us to think that OGP is an initiative that today is subject to political fluctuations and management priorities. It is not a culture that translates into the planning of all public policies of the States.

Throughout the event, the urgency of moving from a paradigm of ‘open government’ to that of an ‘open state’ that expands the policies of transparency and accountability was stressed. This, in a vertical way towards subnational and local governments; and horizontally towards the legislative and judicial powers. Likewise, the need to efficiently and effectively involve the involvement of civil society in the processes of co-creation and co-implementation was highlighted. Both in the national action plans, and in public policies in general.

The paradigm of open government seems to be implemented at different speeds throughout the world, and within each State as well. Argentina, is a case witness of this situation. Many open government initiatives can be collected throughout the country; However, this develops in a very dissimilar way. While provinces such as Córdoba, Buenos Aires and Santa Fe have set up specific government agencies to advance open government policies; Provinces such as Santa Cruz and Río Negro do not have this type of institutionalization of the paradigm. The same happens at the municipal level.

This situation hinders the articulation between the different governmental levels, and therefore the application of the principles of open government is deficient. Local governments have become a fundamental piece for the effective concretion of transparency, accountability and participation. The proximity of local administrations with citizens is the key that gives these governments this importance for the implementation of this culture of openness. The Regional Meeting highlighted this important role and provided the space for the knowledge of good practices already implemented at the local level.

On the other hand, the participation of FUNDEPS was signated to the presentation in a panel about infrastructure projects and public works. The objective was to highlight some cases of large infrastructure projects in the Province of Córdoba, in which standards of transparency, accountability and participation were not applied. During the exhibition, we brought up the cases of the expansion of the sewage treatment plant (WWTP), the construction of the trunk gas pipelines and the development of the Carlos Paz Environmental Center. The panel also had the presence of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN), a representative of the public procurement sector of Chile and a representative of the Initiative for Transparency in Construction (CoST). The purpose of the session was to reflect on the importance of defining better standards of transparency and citizen participation in this type of project.

This panel, in particular, was one of many that sought to demonstrate the need to apply open government standards on specific issues. Specifically, in those issues that today are particularly sensitive for some States (climate change, natural resources, budget, extractive industries, among others). The OGP is born to achieve a modification in the institutions, in such a way that the confidence of the citizens can be recovered. For this, it is essential that citizens can see that their lives are modified in a positive way based on the application of these principles. In this regard, it becomes more than necessary that the open government paradigm can be expanded to all branches and levels of government. It is about moving from an open government to an open state.



“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


During the month of November, from the Directorate of Open Government of the province of Córdoba invited to test the statistical portal, civil society organizations that are part of the provincial table to follow the goal of OGP. Subsequently, the official launch of the new platform was made. This effectively evidences the new imprint that is being adopted by the General Secretariat of the Interior. The participation of civil society organizations demonstrates that the provincial government has begun to build an active data community.

The portal now available has information from the old page of the Statistics and Census Bureau. The new interface, however, is much friendlier for the user and has new sections. It is an advance in terms of open government on the part of the Province. The new portal has a section of ‘Open Data’, one of ‘Visualizations’ and one of ‘Publications’.

By browsing the page you will find detailed socio-economic information about the Province and each department and municipality. In the section ‘Conocé Córdoba’ you can access the largest amount of social statistical information. In the ‘Open Data’ section there are more than 600 datasets and several of them are in open and reusable formats.

The innovation can be found in the ‘Visualizations’ and ‘Publications’ sections. While most data portals do not include these types of sections, these are fundamental when it comes to bringing data to the public. Usually, data in open formats is difficult to read and understand. For this, the visualizations organize the information and present it in a dynamic and fluid way. In particular, these visualizations contained in the new portal are interactive and the user can modify and filter the information in such a way that customized visualizations can be created.

A step further is the ‘Publications’ section. It is a space in which some datasets are explained. This type of resource brings the information closer to the citizen and allows a full understanding of the data.

We consider positive the initiative to modernize the platform and recognize as fundamental resources that were incorporated and that ultimately allow better access to public information on the part of citizens. Likewise, we celebrate that it was an inclusive process in which civil society organizations were involved.



The PPP or PPP (by its name in English: Private Public Partnerships), born in the United Kingdom in the early 70’s and then expanded by the rest of Europe, North America and Latin America, with Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru , Uruguay and Mexico, represent a new form of linkage between the private sector and the public sector. Under this model, part of the services or works traditionally under the responsibility of the public sector are executed by the private sector through a contract in which the shared objectives for the supply of the service or work in question are clearly delineated, and the obligations and risks assumed for each part. Although the level of participation of the private sector has increased since the eighties of the last century, PPPs are presented as innovative agreements. It is supposed that they allow a better mobilization of resources to solve the problems of the public sector to execute this type of projects.

In Argentina, and after some attempts to give legal form to PPPs in the years 2000 and 2005, new legislation is approved in Congress at the end of 2016, through Law 27,328. The text of this law defines public-private partnership contracts in its art. 1 as: “those held between the bodies and entities that make up the national public sector with the scope provided in article 8 of Law 24.156 and its amendments (as a contracting party), and private or public subjects in the terms set forth in establishes in the present law (as contractors) with the aim of developing projects in the fields of infrastructure, housing, activities and services, productive investment, applied research and / or technological innovation”.

In our country we have a serious deficit of public works and, until now, the State has not been able to fill that gap. That is why they are seeking, as with the new APP law, new forms of financing in infrastructure and public works. However, we must be careful when implementing it, since PPPs carry some risks and opportunities. How favorable are these types of agreements for infrastructure development? Do they really work? What are its true scope and limitations? These are some of the questions that arise when evaluating the projects executed under this modality.

So far there are no cases of application of this type of contract for the realization of infrastructure works. We believe it is important to strive for transparency and accountability on the part of the government in the use of this and other forms of contracting. Learning from the experiences of Latin American countries on these issues, during the whole process in which the PPP project is developed, the risks that this implies must be correctly evaluated. Also, control, supervise and plan correctly and responsibly, taking into account the social interest of the project, access to information, citizen participation. Also, trying to avoid corruption and potential environmental, social and human rights impacts.

More information

– Risks and opportunities of the new Law of Public-Private Partnerships in Argentina | FUNDEPS

– Why Public-Private Partnerships now? | Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN)

– Public-Private Partnerships from the multilateral bank. Implementation in Latin America. Part I | Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad

– Comparative study on the implementation of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) | FARN

Image source

Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo


María Victoria Gerbaldo – victoriagerbaldo@fundeps.org


Gonzalo Roza – gon.roza@fundeps.org

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


The undersigned organizations in the framework of the questioned process of designation of the Ombudsman of the Nation, and taking into account the following points:

– That citizen participation is a human right, and an instrument for the adoption of better public policies.

– That it is not a matter of electing a People’s Defender, but rather of appointing the best possible Ombudsman.

– That eight (8) years ago civil society organizations have been demanding not only the selection of an Ombudsman, but the adoption of a participatory and transparent process for that purpose.

– That citizen participation can not be the victim of a hurried selection process.

– That the absence of an explicit mechanism by which a process of citizen participation is established does not mean that the bicameral commission can not adopt a procedure for that purpose.

– That the express acceptance of candidates for the postulation, made by the Bicameral Committee of the Ombudsman without any citizen participation or any argument – more than political consensus – is an insurmountable antecedent of lack of suitability.

– That the procedure adopted for the selection of the Ombudsman ignores the “Principles relating to the status of national institutions” (Paris Principles), which represent the minimum international standards for the establishment of National Human Rights Institutions (INDH), as well as the General Comments of the Accreditation Sub-Committee.

– And finally, regarding the procedure for appointing the Ombudsman, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) recommended -on several occasions- “to ensure the formalization of a clear and transparent selection and appointment process, and participatory (…) that includes wide dissemination of vacancies; maximize the number of potential candidates from a wide range of social groups; promote broad consultation and participation in the application, selection and designation process; evaluate candidates based on predetermined, objective and public domain criteria; select members to serve with their own individual capacity and not on behalf of the organization they represent.”


Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ)

Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales

Fundación Directorio Legislativo

Fundación Poder Ciudadano

Aldeas Infantiles SOS

Asociación Civil Capibara. Naturaleza, Derecho y Sociedad

Banco de Bosques

Centro Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos (CLADH)

Comisión Argentina para Refugiados y Migrantes (CAREF)

Democracia en Red

Equipo Latinoamericano de Justicia y Género (ELA)

Foro de Periodismo Argentino (FOPEA)

Fundación Conocimiento Abierto

Fundación Ciudad

Fundación Huésped

Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS)

Fundación para el Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM)

Fundación Sur

Fundación Vía Libre

Instituto de Estudios Comparados en Ciencias Penales y Sociales (INECIP)

Laboratorio de Políticas Públicas

Salta Transparente


“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

Currently, the Latin American region has witnessed a resounding change in the area of ​​large investments for development. Traditionally, international financial institutions (IFIs) played a fundamental role in supporting development projects in the region. The World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank Group were behind the large investments in the infrastructure area.

This situation has been modified by the increase in the presence of the People’s Republic of China as the main investor in this matter. In this regard, it is necessary to highlight that this situation has brought about a strong discussion regarding social and environmental standards. Traditional IFIs have regulations that, while far from functioning properly in practice, minimally seek to ensure compliance with certain environmental, social and human rights standards in their projects. In the case of Chinese institutions, on the contrary, the situation is more complex, since in most cases these institutions lack transparency or clear and robust regulations in socio-environmental matters.

The consequence of the coexistence of these two groups of institutions – the traditional IFIs and the Chinese ones – has given a negative balance and this has been evidenced in the retreat of the safeguards in organisms such as the World Bank. In this sense, the current financing structure in Latin America has seen its standards fall, generating serious situations of violation of rights when launching large infrastructure projects. During 2016, 200 environmental defenders lost their lives claiming their rights before the advance of major oil and mining projects. 60% of those deaths occurred in Latin America and 40% belonged to indigenous peoples.

From this framework, the Regional Coalition for Transparency and Participation, brought together a group of civil society organizations with the aim of influencing the improvement of socio-environmental standards in infrastructure megaprojects. At the Fourth Regional Meeting on Human Rights, Transparency and Investments, held in Lima on August 30 and 31, the organizations gathered spoke for the urgent need to ensure the rights of environmental defenders. Likewise, the growing cases of corruption around the megaprojects and the lack of access to public information were highlighted.

The statement after the meeting noted that: “several governments have been addressing the right of access to public information as a mere administrative procedure, without taking into account that it is an instrumental human right to other fundamental rights, such as the right to life, to health, to freedom of expression, which contributes to the adequate and timely citizen participation and free and informed prior consultation. In this line, it is worrying that several international initiatives on transparency and access to information can not continue to advance adequately because there is a risk that we seek to lower the standards, as in the case of the Regional Agreement of Principle 10.” The large infrastructure projects then, today remain the scenario for the problematization of issues such as transparency and accountability.

Several governments in Latin America have joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and have therefore committed to implementing policies that promote transparency, access to information, accountability and participation. citizen This necessarily implies that these efforts to ‘open the State’ must expand to the environmental and infrastructure branch. Currently this is a pending debt and of the 3000 commitments assumed before OGP, only 54 belong to the field of infrastructure. Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay are the Latin American and Caribbean nations that have elaborated goals in relation to this matter. However, the problems persist and the situation of human rights around the megaprojects has been getting worse. In addition, after the Fourth Meeting of the Regional Coalition, it was highlighted that “it is important that the processes for the elaboration of the Work Plans of the Alliance for Open Government of the countries be truly participatory and with ambitious, measurable and relevant “. This is especially important when it comes to achieving the involvement and monitoring of society in public works processes (throughout the project cycle).

In Argentina this reality is replicated. Currently, large infrastructure projects are being developed that have been involved in corruption cases and whose information was not shared with citizens. We can mention among them: the hydroelectric dams in the Province of Santa Cruz and the trunk gas pipelines in the province of Córdoba.

The generalized situation of human rights around infrastructure megaprojects is alarming. There continue to be numerous cases in which nearby communities are harmed by this type of work. Added to this, the killing of environmental defenders has worsened in the last two years. In this context, we adhere to the Lima Declaration and urge Latin American governments to move towards more transparent policies on this issue.

More information

– Declaration of Lima


Agustina Palencia, agustinapalencia@fundeps.org


Gonzalo Roza gon.roza@fundeps.org

This document presents an analysis of the evolution of the most important infrastructure project in the province of Córdoba and the relationship with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, with a focus on the transparency of the project.

This document presents the most relevant aspects related to the recent regulatory reception of the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) regime in the Argentine Republic, as well as the risks and opportunities that PPPs may bring. The general purpose of the work is to highlight some general characteristics of the Public-Private Partnerships, and then to analyze some outstanding aspects of Law 27,328, which normatively receives said regime in the Argentine Republic.