The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a global health crisis as well as an economic and social crisis throughout the world and, in particular, in Latin America, the most unequal region in the world. Despite the current emergency, extractive activities continue and are accelerating putting local communities throughout the continent at risk.
Given the serious economic crisis that is spreading, there is a risk of expanding extractive projects, even if this means lowering social, environmental and labour standards. This would be contrary to the European Union’s commitment recently expressed in the European Green Deal. From the EU-LAT Network, we consider that this crisis should not lead to a relaxation of the rules and the expansion of extractive mega-projects, but rather to a global reflection on the development model we want. In the following statement, we urge the European Union and its Member States to promote and strengthen human rights through their external action on matters relating to extractive activities in Latin America.