PBI-Colombia accompanies CREDHOS at dialogue with Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On September 19, CREDHOS tweeted:

“#Credhos in dialogue with Sol Espinoza. Zuleima Rollon. Monserrat Solano Deputy Secretary of the OHCHR [Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights] and PBI on the serious human rights situation in the MM [Magdalena Medio] region and the risks that the communities and leaders run due to the escalation of the armed conflict, the strong presence of AGC [the Clan del Golfo paramilitary] and environmental effects.”

On May 9, Al Jazeera reported: “The [Magdalena Medio] area comprises the heart of Colombia’s petroleum industry, and the local town of Puerto Wilches has been selected for the country’s first fracking project, meeting strong resistance from locals and environmental groups. This opposition, in turn, has drawn threats from local armed groups.”

The article highlights: “Local environmental defenders and a representative of the JEP told Al Jazeera that they suspected a connection between the paramilitary groups intimidating them and the state-owned Ecopetrol, which is behind the fracking project. The company has been accused of having ties with the Gulf Clan [AGC] specifically.”

A JEP representative told Al Jazeera: “Many contractors and those connected to these [fracking] projects have links to illegal groups.”

On a PBI-Canada webinar in May 2022, Juan Camilo Delgado of CREDHOS commented: “It’s very concerning when we look at the historic relationship between the oil companies and organized illegal groups, specifically paramilitary structures, which has led to human rights violations and attacks against social leaders and environmental leaders from the municipality of Puerto Wilches [in the Magdalena Medio region].”

At this time, we also highlight the Banking on Climate Chaos website that documents Toronto-based Scotiabank provided USD $665 million to Ecopetrol in 2018, another $666.67 million in 2020, and $1.7 billion in 2021 for a total of $3.0 billion in financing.

We continue to follow this situation with concern.

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) since 1994.

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