#GuacamayaLeaks reveals 62 oil and chemical spills in Colombia between 2015 and 2020

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Illustration by Erick Retana.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is reporting on the continued revelations by the Guacamaya information-hacking collective that is associated with the Citizen Lab (that studies digital threats to civil society) based at the University of Toronto.

We have previously highlighted that #GuacamayaLeaks revealed that the National Defense Secretariat in Mexico had surveilled the PBI-Mexico accompanied Cerezo Committee. It has previously been noted that the PBI-Mexico accompanied Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre has also been targeted by the military with Pegasus spyware.

More on that at PBI-Mexico concerned Cerezo Committee on list the Ministry of National Defence targeted with Pegasus spyware.

Now AFP reports:

In Colombia, Guacamaya claimed to have obtained more than 300,000 private emails from the military forces and the state prosecutor’s office, although the hack has yet to generate the same level of controversy there as in Mexico.

The Colombian army said it was “aware of the possible extraction of information from the general command.”

Guacamaya also released tens of thousands of emails from the National Hydrocarbons Agency and a private company, New Granada Energy Corp.

The records revealed 62 oil and chemical spills between 2015 and 2020.

Most of these “environmental incidents” were not reported to authorities, according to internal communications from New Granada Energy…

Mongabay Latam recently reported that there have been 2,133 oil incidents and spills in Colombia from 2015 to June 2022. 

At least 92 of those incidents are linked to Canadian companies: Frontera Energy/Pacific Rubiales (56), Gran Tierra (26) and Parex Resources (10).

The Mongabay analysis was based on figures collected by the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA) accessed through Oscar Sampayo of the Yariguíes Regional Corporation (CRY-GEAM) and Senator Fabián Díaz.

Sampayo comments: “Official information on spills, incidents and operational failures in Colombia raises several questions. First, if there is an under-registration of the information. Second, whether the oil companies file the truthful and timely information about the spills. And third, whether the institutions and environmental authorities have the tools to verify or corroborate the information provided by the oil companies.”

Ciper Chile has also reported on communications by the Colombian Army that notes their concern on the consequences for Colombia of the election of progressive Gabriel Boric as the president of Chile in December 2021.

Biobiochile.cl highlights that those communications note the Colombian Army’s concern about “the negative trend of imports of coal and Colombian oil [main export products to Chile], pressured by the accelerated implementation of the change in the energy matrix that Chile advances as part of compliance with the Paris Agreements.”

In its most recent report, Decade of Defiance, Global Witness documents the killing of 1,733 land and environmental defenders over the past 10 years.

322 of those were killed in Colombia.

We continue to follow this situation in relation to the safety and security of environmental and human rights defenders.

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