Correspondence with the World Bank Regarding Berta Cáceres and Large Dams
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On May 11th, more than 300 organizations from around the world sent a letter to Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, to respond to a statement he made during an event at the Union Theological Seminary in New York.
In response to a question about the impacts of large dam projects as illustrated by the murder of Berta Cáceres in Honduras he stated, among other things, that “you cannot do the work we’re trying to do and not have some of these ‘incidents’ happen.” The organizations signing this letter consider these statements from the World Bank President unacceptable and urge him to immediately rectify his actions and make a public apology.
Dr. Kim’s statement is available on video (minute 53).
CONSULT the letter sent to the World Bank President in ENGLISH and SPANISH.
On May 11th, the World Bank responded to the letter from organizations in a public brief on Honduras and indigenous peoples, which can be found on their website.
On May 13th, a drafting committee from the coalition of organizations answered the World Bank, taking note of the President's condemnation of the murder of Berta Cáceres. The also noted that the reference the President of the World Bank made to the grave human rights violations caused by dams, such a involuntary displacement, is worrying and must be addressed. They reiterated the existence of alternatives to large hydroelectric projects and the need to implement such solutions.
The organizations concluded:
"In honor of your commitment to “hear the voices of the Berta Caceres of the world” we look forward to the World Bank Group moving towards energy alternatives that are respectful of the human rights of people and communities; that are more efficient, less expensive and actually respectful of the planet. That is the main way to achieve real prosperity for all."