CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Latin America & the Caribbean

Nicaragua / Ingenio Montelimar-01/ Montelimar Environs

Complainant
Asociacion Montelimar Bendicion de Dios (AMBED)
Date Filed
October 01, 2015
Concerns
Community health & safety, environmental pollution, land tenure, and information disclosure
Case Status
Open - Ombudsman
 

Synopsis

Complaint

Consorcio Naviero Nicaraguense (Navinic) owns the smallest of four sugar mills in Nicaragua (Montelimar mill), with a milling capacity of 2,300 tons of sugar cane per day. The project involves an increase in the Company’s sugar annual production and includes the acquisition of 1,628 ha of land to increase planted area, investment in irrigation and other infrastructure in the field, increasing milling capacity, acquiring additional harvesting and transportation equipment and funding incremental working capital needs. Total project cost is estimated at US$38 million, and IFC has provided a US$15 million A Loan for IFC’s own account.

 

In October 2015, the Asociacion Montelimar Bendicion de Dios (AMBED), a local organization comprised of current and former workers of Montelimar,their families, and members of communities in the Municipality of San Rafael del Sur, filed a complaint with CAO regarding IFC’s Montelimar project.  The complaint cites concerns about the high prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in the local communities and the company’s response to the epidemic, environmental impacts due to industrial cultivation of sugarcane, issues related to evictions and land tenure, and lack of information disclosure and community engagement.  The complainants also raise questions about IFC’s compliance with its Performance Standards in relation to these issues.

 

CAO Action

CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in October 2015. During the assessment, the company and complainants expressed the desire to hold a meeting to exchange information about the issues raised in the complaint and decide whether and how they should continue this initial engagement towards a productive dialogue under CAO’s auspices. The complainants and company have thereon held several meetings to clarify misconceptions about each other and address issues of common interest. In January 2017, the complainants and the company signed an agreement to work together to provide support to those who are suffering from CKD. Agreed actions include provisions of health and livelihood support to former workers. Also, parties agreed to have AMBED operate as an additional in-take channel for the company’s existing internal and external grievance redress mechanism to help to continuously improve Montelimar’s operations. They have also agreed to request government support to form a commission to improve access to health care services and pensions. See full agreement under “View Documents”.

 

Status
CAO Dispute Resolution process is still ongoing.

 

Note: A CAO assessment does not entail a judgment on the merits of complaints.  Rather, the aim is to listen to people's concerns, understand the different perspectives, and determine what options are available to address the complaint through CAO's Dispute Resolution and Compliance functions.

 

Status as of July 6, 2017

Project information

Institution
IFC
Project Name & Number
Ingenio Montelimar 32253
Department
Global Manufacturing & Services
Company
Corporacion Montelimar SA
Sector
Agribusiness
Region
Latin America & the Caribbean
Country
Nicaragua
Environmental Category
A
Commitment
$15 million A loan

Case Tracker

Ombudsman

  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed
  • Facilitating Settlement: In Process

Compliance