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Perú: El "Niño Modelo" para el Banco Mundial en América Latina

October 13, 2015

Nate Singham

The World Bank praised the development model of Peru despite flagrant violations of human and environmental rights.

Peru is organizing the 2015 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, making it the first Latin American country to do so since 1967.

In preparation for the meeting, the experts group based in the United States, the Oakland Institute released a report Tuesday entitled, showing how the South American nation "Peru, the model for the World Bank in Latin America boy" has become a laboratory for neoliberal policy prescriptions of the World Bank.

The study found that over the last 25 years, the Peruvian government has aggressively pursued foreign direct investment in order to fund infrastructure projects on a large scale and controversial extractive projects, often at the expense of human rights, environmental sustainability and economic justice.

According Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute, "The Bank supports projects that have had devastating social and environmental impacts and few benefits for Peruvians."

As host country, Peru is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. A report published by the Bank Information Center last month, which evaluates the activities of the World Bank found that development models imposed by the institution in the country have exacerbated Peru's vulnerability to climate change risks.

"The growth model supported by the (World Bank Group) for Peru, was too destructive dependent and vulnerable, without adequately improve regulations and manageability of climate risks in the country climate sectors," the report said. "This has exacerbated the vulnerability of Peru to the risks of climate change."

Despite having campaigned advocating environmental issues and populist policies, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala has approved more than a dozen projects without prior consultation with affected communities. The Ombudsman of Peru identified a total of 138 social and environmental conflicts throughout the country since August 2015, most of which are caused by invasive infrastructure projects.

The Oakland Institute, Mittal said "the influence of the World Bank in the country has led to violent social conflicts, an increase in corporate power without control, and undermined the access of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources"

Local communities are now opposed to 100 mining projects in Peru, mainly in the effects on water sources or disagreements over the level of benefits granted to nearby towns said a 2015 report by the Ombudsman of Peru.

Peru is also the fourth most dangerous place to be a defender of the land or environmental country, according to the NGO Global Witness, based in UK.

However, transnational companies have criticized the government for the amount of time it takes to advance infrastructure projects in Peru. In May, the Peruvian Congress appeased the demands of the private sector with the adoption of legislation that destroys the process of assessing the environmental and labor rights, in an effort to expedite the approval of infrastructure-related permits.

In an interview with Telesur English, the Director of "Oakland Policy Institute," Frederic Mousseau, Peruvian lawmakers criticized by promoting legislation to ensure private investment at the expense of environmental and human rights.

"Over the past three decades, successive governments have continued Peruvian models deregulation and privatization of banks, and have reduced labor protection standards and environmental safeguards, in order to make it more attractive to foreign investors" Mousseau said.

Despite these worrying trends, the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, praised the development model of Peru.

"The impressive history and always improving Peru shows that it has much to share with the world on the promotion of development. This is just one reason why it is a natural host to host our Annual Meetings in October," Kim said After a meeting with President Humala in May.

Both critics and supporters of the development model of Peru agree that Peru is a suitable host for the annual meetings of the World Bank, but for different reasons. As political scientist Mousseau says, "The World Bank intends to show the" "Peru as a result of neoliberal policies and reforms to the world" success.

However, he added, "The model of development of Peru, largely based on the extractive industries and the export of raw materials, has focused the country's natural resources and wealth in the hands of few private companies at a high cost Peruvian population and the environment ".

For neoliberal institutions such as the World Bank, apparently, this is a "success".