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Quechua indigenous group vs. Marriott International

Case overview

Date filed 14 December 2018
Current status Rechazado
Issue Destruction of Quechua cultural sites in Peru by Marriott
Summary of the case An indigenous group in Peru has filed the first ever Quechua language complaint to the Peruvian NCP against Marriott International Inc. The complaint alleges that Marriott International Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide LLC has destroyed an ancient Inca temple, exhumed human remains from an attached cemetery, and conducted unauthorized excavations in an archaeological site in order to build a hotel of the Marriott family of hotels. The complainants request that Marriott withdraw from the hotel project and return all Incan artifacts removed during the construction. The complainants further ask for the reconstruction and restoration of the Inca site where the hotel is being built.

In 2016 before the complaint was filed, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture had already issued a stop order against the project, stating that it, “after inspecting the site multiple times, determined that the execution of civil works was causing serious harm to the archaeological site, which was registered as part of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation and Humanity.”
Developments/Outcome On 18 February 2019, the Peruvian NCP admitted the complaint for consideration.

In October 2019 the Peruvian NCP issued an initial assessment rejecting the complaint on three primary grounds: lack of substantiation; existence of parallel proceedings, and failure to establish a link between the company and the impacts. The complainants feel the NCP concluded that the complainants could not claim on behalf of the Quechua people and that Marriott did not violate the Guidelines because the hotel never started operations. The complainants are deeply disappointed with the result because they feel:

a) The NCP has discriminated against them alleging that the Quechuas do not have a religious belief.

b) The NCP has imposed on the complainants an impossible requirement: to submit documentary proof that they have received a power of attorney from the eight million people who form the Quechua nation.

c) The NCP should have accepted the participation of the union Unite Here as co-complainant.

d) The NCP is non-neutral, as the hotel exploration began under an investment promotion agreement signed between Proinversion (the pro-investment agency that fulfills the role of the NCP) and the developer (Inmobiliaria R&G) in 2014. In addition, the head of the NCP is a former employee of the bank which financed the project (Banco de Credito del Peru). Moreover, the father of the NCP head is a real estate consultant that at the time of the proceedings spoke to the press in favour of this hotel.


Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Peru
NCP address Lima, Peru
NCP website http://www.investinperu.pe/modulos/JER/PlantillaStandard.aspx?are=1&prf=0&jer=5758&sec=17
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

ONG

Company Information

Company responsible Marriott International Inc.
Company address
Company website
Company in violation Marriott International Inc.
Country of operations Peru
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
2 March 2020 Quechua people comunicado de prensa Complainants issue press release at complaint's rejection download pdf (198Kb)  
15 October 2019 National Contact Point Peru desestimar Peruvian NCP rejects complaint download pdf (11201Kb)  
7 October 2019 comunicado de prensa Article showing father of NCP head promoting hotel download pdf (364Kb)  
14 December 2018 Quechua people presentar Complaint filed at Peruvian NCP - Spanish download pdf (557Kb)  
14 December 2018 Quechua people presentar Complaint filed at Peruvian NCP - Quechua download pdf (568Kb)  
17 October 2018 Declaration of Interest showing link between NCP head and lender download pdf (66Kb)  
10 August 2016 declaración Peruvian Ministry of Culture's stop order download pdf (2505Kb)  
19 June 2014 Mortgage agreement identifying the bank and construction site download pdf (1973Kb)  
16 May 2014 National Contact Point Peru Contract Proinversion and developer download pdf (368Kb)  

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