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Parliamentary questions
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5 February 2019
Question for written answer E-000692-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Xabier Benito Ziluaga (GUE/NGL) , Estefanía Torres Martínez (GUE/NGL) , Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE) , Julie Ward (S&D) , Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) , Miguel Urbán Crespo (GUE/NGL) , Tania González Peñas (GUE/NGL) , Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Accountability of European transnational corporations in the face of socio-environmental consequences in Latin America
 Answer in writing 

The presence of transnational corporations (TNCs) in Latin American countries, in particular Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, is detrimental to indigenous peoples, in particular to women. Severe human rights violations, environmental damage, serious diseases, land expropriation, physical abuse and gender-based violence are among the reflections of their activities.

The construction of wind power structures in Mexico operated by Spanish companies has led to the forced displacement of numbers of families and has interfered in birds’ migration patterns. In Guatemala, the Río Negro massacre resulted from a project that included companies from Spain, Italy and France.

Since TNCs operate globally, holding them accountable for the consequences of operations which they fund or carry out frequently meets with obstacles.

1. Is the Commission aware of this situation faced by indigenous peoples in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras?

2. What measures does the Commission suggest to tackle this issue and to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, and in particular indigenous women, in the face of the extractive activities of European TNCs?

3. Does the Commission intend to hold European TNCs legally accountable under international law for their activities in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and to prioritise UN and EU principles on business and human rights over private profit and economic gain?

Last updated: 20 February 2019Legal notice