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15mar11

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The APG IG Announces the Beginning of the Financial Activity of the
Itika Guasu Investment Fund


The Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu (APG IG) announced that March 11th, 2011 marked the beginning of the financial activity of the"Itika Guasu Investment Fund", launched with an investment amount of 14.8 million dollars.

The Itika Guasu Investment Fund was approved by the assembly of the APG IG for a period of 10 years renewable and its investment base is mainly sovereign and corporate debt of the highest credit rating. The fund will be administered by a "Council of Sages" appointed according to Guaraní customs and uses, and its legal representative is the current President of the APG IG, Never Barrientos.

The Banco de Brasil has accepted to undertake the management of the fund and it will provide its financial advice on a long term basis, having been chosen for having a solid Bank solvency and assets security.

This fund results from the "Agreement of Friendship and Co-operation between the Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu and Repsol YPF E&P Bolivia SA", approved by the General Assembly of our organization on December 1st, 2010 and signed before a Notary Public on December 29th, 2010.

This agreement was reached on October 1st, 2010 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra between high representatives of Repsol Bolivia S.A. and British Gas (BP), on the one side, and APG IG legal representatives on the other, and it subsequently received the endorsement of E&P, representative of British Petroleum. This agreement is the product of lengthy negotiations that were initiated in the middle of the month of July 2010 with representatives of Repsol S.A. and Repsol Bolivia S.A. These negotiations marked the end of a long standing conflict between the APG IG and the oil corporation, which began with the establishment of the Chevron and Maxus SA companies in 1997 in the Original Community Territory of Itika Guasu, property of the APG IG.

The legal and financial advice for the implementation of the Agreement, as well as the financial negotiations and the establishment of the "Itika Guasu Investment Fund", were led by Gregorio Dionis, President of Equipo Nizkor, and by members of this organization who are specialized in international commercial and financial law, as well as indigenous law, and results from a formal agreement between the APG IG and Equipo Nizkor from 2006, which was ratified and extended by the Assembly on December 1st, 2010.

The "Itika Guasu Investment Fund" is the first such fund to exist for an indigenous organization in Bolivia, and according to solvent financial sources, it is also the first in Latin America. It was created by an agreement that recognizes all of the demands of the APG IG, including: legal recognition, the recognition of their customs and uses, the recognition of the Original Community Territory (TCO), the recognition of international law relating to indigenous law and international human rights law, the recognition and evaluation of environmental damage by way of independent audits to be carried out on a regular basis throughout the duration of the contract, the coverage of damages by valid and effective insurance policies, as well as the guarantee of the principle to return the land to its original state by the end of the contract.

The financial income yielded by the "Itika Guasu Investment Fund" will be invested prioritarily in the areas of Health, Education and Housing, as well as in productive projects that allow the communities constituting the APG IG to engage in profitable activities.

The carrying out of these activities was regulated by the General Assembly of the APG IG on December 2nd, 2010 and the plan for new activities relating to health and control of the territory is currently under budgetary elaboration and implementation to be carried out by the Board of the APG IG.

The APG IG considers that this agreement is the first of its kind signed in Latin America with a multinational oil corporation, therefore, we hope that it will have an impact on the practices in the oil industry, it being also a specific and concrete contribution to the demands of the Bolivian and Latin American indigenous communities.

This communiqué complies with the principles of financial and corporate transparency and must serve as notification for appropriate legal purposes.

Entre Ríos, 15 of March, 2011
Board of the APG IG

Never Barrientos, Presidente
Florentino Zeballos, Vicepresidente
Benildo Vaca, Responsable de Recursos Naturales
Gregorio Barrientos, Responsable de Educación
Zacarías Cuellar, Responsable de Infraestructuras
Angela Tague, Responsable de Salud
Fernando Cuellar, Responsable de Producción


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