German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Environmental Rights and Conflicts over Raw Materials in Latin America. The Escazú Agreement Is Ready to Come into Force in 2021
On 5 November 2020 Mexico ratified the so-called Escazú Agreement, a treaty between Latin American and Caribbean states on establishing regional transparency and environment standards, as the eleventh country to do so. The prescribed quorum of ratifications has thus been attained, and the agreement can come into force in 2021. This will launch an innovative multilateral instrument that is intended to create more citizen participation and improve the assertion of citizens’ rights in environmental matters. In Latin America, economic interests dominate when it comes to the exploitation of raw materials; furthermore, there is a large number of conflicts over resources. The agreement thus offers affected indigenous tribes and human-rights defenders more opportunities for information, participation and access to the justice system in environmental matters. Despite this binding first step, some leading countries in the region have so far failed to ratify the agreement. Many of them are reluctant to join, arguing that certain provisions violate their national sovereignty and their freedom of decision. For Germany and Europe, the agreement offers new leverage for drafting supply chain laws.
Access the article here: https://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/comments/2021C04_EscazuAgreement.pdf