Calgary-based Canacol Energy Ltd. in Colombian news articles on alleged funding of presidential campaign

Published by Brent Patterson on

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A Canadian company that was involved in shelved fracking projects in Colombia with ConocoPhillips and that is now reportedly seeking a contract for one of the fracking pilot projects to be awarded in September/October is in the news.

Calgary-based Canacol Energy Ltd., which owns Bogota-based CNE Oil and Gas, has been noted in these recent news reports:

Empresa en que Cisneros es mayor accionista sí aportó al CD en campaña Duque (Company in which Cisneros is the largest shareholder did contribute to the CD in the Duque campaign); La Silla Vacía; July 9, 2020

Empresa de fracking habría puesto dinero a la campaña de Duque (Fracking company would have put money into Duque’s campaign); Las2Orillas, July 9, 2020

¿Cómo llegaron $700 millones de la empresa Oil and Gas al Centro Democrático? (How did $ 700 million from the Oil and Gas company get to the Democratic Center?); La Republica Asuntos Legales, July 13, 2020

Las2Orillas reports: “An audio of Nubia Stella Martínez [the director of the political party Democratic Center] with María Claudia Daza [a former personal assistant of former President Alvaro Uribe] talking about the donation of $300,000 from a foreigner came to the hands of the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice.”

That article further notes: “At first Martínez had said that it was the Venezuelan businessman Oswaldo Cisneros and later he retracted it.”

La Silla Vacía further notes: “Cisneros has been a Canacol shareholder since 2015 when his company Cavengas Holdings, based in the Barbados tax haven, bought 19.9 percent (the cap allowed by Canadian legislation) of this natural gas producer.”

That article also notes: “Since then, he has served on the multinational’s board of directors as an independent member.”

Asuntos Legales adds: “Although the fracking projects located in Cesar and called Piranga and Plata were rejected the first time by ANLA, the company continues to await the decision of the Colombian authorities to receive permits and undertake with its pilots for the extraction of crude, impacting with hydraulic pressure…”

The Global Affairs Canada Voices at Risk guiding principles notes: “Canada recognizes the key role played by businesses in protecting and promoting human rights and strengthening the rule of law. …Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service also works to inform and support Canadian businesses with respect to their legal obligations under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, and promote Canadian industry standards for responsible business…”

Peace Brigades International accompanies defenders concerned about the human rights and environmental implications of fracking in Colombia. Canacol Energy Ltd. and two other Canadian companies – Toronto-based Sintana Energy and Calgary-based Parex Resources – are reportedly bidding to conduct fracking pilot projects there. As noted above, those contracts are expected to be awarded later this year.

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