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Colombia report clouds BP profits announcement

Colombia report clouds BP profits announcement

As BP announces its huge profits for the past year, a new report highlights the continuing trauma facing people who have stood up to the company’s activities in Colombia.

In a report published today (8 February), War on Want partner the Social Observatory of Colombia (Observatorio Social) records the testimony of those who spoke out against BP in the past and still live in fear of their lives. Many have been forced into hiding.

Abelardo Cubides* testified about abuses committed against organisations critical of BP. He and his family have received death threats from paramilitary groups, and have been forced to leave the city where they were living:

“We lived in the city as if we were in prison. We couldn’t go out to public places for fear of being pointed out or due to the constant threats we received. Nobody wanted to work with me or give me work for fear of being singled out.”

BP operates in Colombia under the name BP Exploration Company (Colombia) Ltd, with its main activity being the operation of the Cusiana and Cupiagua complex in the eastern province of Casanare. Media reports in the 1990s highlighted BP’s involvement with Colombian military units accused of human rights violations.

Louise Richards, Chief Executive of War on Want, said: “The testimonies collected by our Colombian partners are deeply worrying. A culture of fear has enveloped many Colombians, making it impossible for people to feel secure. BP’s profits announcement may cheer the company’s shareholders, but it provides no consolation for those living with BP’s operations in Colombia.”

* all names in the report have been changed to protect the identities of those involved


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