On 14 September 2023, three Indigenous Peoples’ groups, the Mapuche-Williche communities from the Pilmayken territory, represented by their autonomous organisation Aylla Rewe of the Ngen Mapu Kintuantü; ancestral authorities, the machi Millaray Huichalaf, spiritual authority of the Mapuche people; and the council of lonkos, representing more than 150 affected Indigenous communities, filed a complaint against Statkraft AS to the Norwegian NCP. This is the first complaint filed by indigenous communities in the Americas against a Norwegian company under the 2023 OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct. The communities represent thousands of Indigenous people who ancestrally inhabit and use the Pilmayken territory. The complainants are assisted by Colectivo de Acción por la Justicia Social (CAJE) and the Mexican human rights organisation ProDESC.
According to the complainants, in 2009 Statkraft sought authorisation for hydropower projects without the indigenous communities being consulted and involved in the projects’ environmental, social, and cultural impact assessments. In 2015, Statkraft acquired the assets of a Chilean company and three hydroelectric projects on the Pilmaiquén River: Rucatayo, Osorno, and Los Lagos. However, the complainants argue that Statkraft failed to conduct adequate human rights due diligence on the acquisition and has continued to advance the projects without conducting due diligence in line with the OECD Guidelines. These projects have violated indigenous peoples’ rights to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), territory, cultural identity, and their human rights.
The complainants argue that, since 2011, when Indigenous Peoples started resisting the projects, Statkraft has refused to recognise the existence, territory, and ancestral practices of the Mapuche-Williche communities in the Pilmayken, as well as the cultural impacts of its activities and the right to FPIC. The company has also allegedly used its influence to advance the projects, such that the use by the Chilean government of force and criminalisation of community leaders, indigenous peoples, and defenders has been constant in order to guarantee the investments.
Statkraft has also allegedly failed to provide sufficient information to the communities about the development of its projects. While the company has reportedly withdrawn from the Osorno project, the communities have no confirmation of the withdrawal of the relevant permits and authorisations.
The complainants call on Statkraft to recognise their rights as Indigenous Peoples and to prevent the continuation of activities that do not align with the OECD Guidelines. They call on Statkraft to generate mechanisms for genuine dialogue and participation, to use its influence to stop community division and the criminalisation and violence against Indigenous Peoples, and through due diligence to reconsider its investment in the Mapuche-Williche territory.
- Company in violation
- Other companies involved
- Mapuche-Williche communities from the Pilmayken territory, represented by their autonomous organisation Aylla Rewe of the Ngen Mapu Kintuantü
- The council of lonkos, representing more than 150 affected indigenous communities from the Pilmayken territory
- The machi Millaray Huichalaf, spiritual authority of the Mapuche people
- Affected people
- Other NCP's where the complaint was filed