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Letter sent by the APG IG to the President Evo Morales regarding the right to consultation and the conflict with Repsol YPF E&P Bolivia SA.

Entre Ríos, 30 June 2010

For the attention of the President of the Republic of Bolivia
D. Juan Evo Morales Ayma
Government Palace

Mr President:

Further to our letter delivered to you on 23rd March 2009 to which we have to date received no reply, we hereby wish to inform your Excellency of two specific requests of our Community.

1) We would point out that within our TCO (Communal lands of origin) 20 environmental licences have been issued subject to various Contracts of Operation. These licences date back to 1997 and we are aware that the most recent of these was issued on 5th February 2010 last. The licences have been issued to Repsol YPF E&P Bolivia SA, except for three which were granted to the nationalised company Transredes SA.

Mr President, not one of the licences or the Contracts of Operation have been issued in compliance with the "right to consultation" to which we are entitled as a legally recognised indigenous organization and furthermore, these actions expressly violate our property rights as a recognised TCO.

2) We also wish to advise you that none of the said companies, nor the State have ever complied with the terms of the contract entered into between the APG IG and the company Maxus SA which relate to the operation of Pozo X1 (Oil Well X1) and, as a result, the licence relating thereto is also null and void.

Nevertheless on 10th April 2008 the Ministry for the Environment confirmed in the minutes of an administrative proceeding that the company Repsol YPF E&P Bolivia SA did not have the original licence granted to the company Chevron on 4th April 1997; the said administrative action arose in legal proceedings which, according to information we have received, is still pending resolution in the Supreme Court.

The APGIG believes that once again our rights have been violated in that not only were we not informed at the appropriate time that there was to be an inspection of particular exploitations on our land, we were never legally notified of the existence of this administrative action.

We consider that this administrative proceeding constitutes a flagrant violation of our rights and we have sufficient evidence to conclude that the only purpose of the same was to deliberately obviate performance of the financial obligations arising from the contract between the APG IG and Maxus SA for which Repsol YPF E&P Bolivia SA has been entirely responsible in law since its acquisition of the assets and liabilities of the said company.

3) We would also advise that in 2007 we were the victims of an attempted fraud by Repsol España SA which was notified to the Minister for Hydrocarbon and the Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. To date we have received no response to the matter from any public official, leaving our organization to deal with the issue with no legal assistance whatever from the Bolivian State.

4) We would further advise you that some 50 days ago we were the object of another failed attempt to negotiate a resolution by officials representing YPF SA claiming to act as representatives of Repsol YPF E&P Bolivia SA but who have hitherto failed to produce powers of attorney to substantiate their claim to such representation, notwithstanding requests for the same from our legal department. Their communication has not even been supported by any reliable legal documentation.

5) On 28 April 2010 we received a letter from YPFB SA in which we were officially notified that the said company does not legally recognise the APG IG and that our problems with the multinational oil companies present on our TCO are entirely unilateral. In other words, YPFB will not afford us any cooperation or assistance, whether legal or operative in respect of the various licences and contracts of operation which currently affect our TCO.

In addition, the said letter constitutes a breach of the agreement which was included in the minutes of the meeting held on 9th April 2010 according to which we were to be sent the extracts of the relevant board minutes documenting the deliberations of the Directors of YPFB SA with respect to this matter. We must therefore conclude that no such deliberations ever took place and that the resolution was adopted solely by Mr. Carlos Villegas, acting as Interim President in the exercise of full powers granted by the company.

6) We further wish to advise you that an identical situation of non-compliance exists with respect to the registration of our ownership of the TCO Itika Guasu, in other words, with respect to the original lands which are owned by our community, as we have received no response whatever to our claims which were respectfully submitted in writing on several occasions to officials of various levels of seniority within INRA and the Vice Ministry of Lands. As a result we are in a position of complete defencelessness given that all of the registrations of interests carried out in respect of our TCO have been executed without any corresponding legal notification to us and are therefore null and void for violation of the laws of the State of Bolivia in effect since 1951.

7) We would finally advise you that we have received no reply whatever with respect to our requests for the regularization of the functions of the Development Fund for the Original Indigenous Peoples and Peasant Communities and for relevant legal documentation requested by us in 2008 concerning the various resolutions adopted hitherto by that organisation created as a result of our protests in 2005.

Mr President, as a result of these facts which have been duly and legally documented by us, we hereby notify you that we consider that all administrative and legal forms of recourse are now exhausted with respect to the Government of which you are President and to the State of Bolivia and we will therefore proceed to take the actions we deem necessary to establish the responsibilities of those involved.

It goes without saying, Mr President that we are deeply disappointed by the actions and attitudes of the officials within your Government and of your own, and it is a matter of sorrow to our indigenous communities that we now find ourselves abandoned and without assistance of any kind.

Yours sincerely,

Florentino Zeballos
Acting President APG IG

Benildo Vaca
Head of Natural Resources APG IG

Gregorio Barrientos
Head of Education APG IG

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