PBI-Colombia accompanies Justice and Peace Commission as Norwegian MPs visit the Amazon Pearl Campesina Reserve Zone
On November 8, PBI-Colombia tweeted:
“Amnesty International], the Norwegian Fund for Human Rights, parliamentarians and politicians from Norway Ingrid Liland and Grunde Almeland dialogue with communities in the Amazon Pearl Campesina Reserve Zone in #Putumayo, where the Association for the Integral Sustainable Development of the Perla Amazónica [ADISPA] and the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace build peace and protect the environment.”
Liland is the Deputy Chair of the Green Party (Miljøpartiet Dei Grøne/MDG) and Almeland is an MP with the Liberal Party.
PBI-Colombia accompanies the Justice and Peace Commission that in turn accompanies Jani Silva, the president of ADISPA.
Amnesty International has highlighted: “Jani Silva has dedicated her life to protecting the Amazon and the life that exists in it from efforts by armed groups and multinational companies to take control of her territory.”
The Guardian has also reported: “Silva says she has seen firsthand the effects of big business in Putumayo, where, she believes, oil companies ‘exploit irresponsibly’ and contaminate the environment.”
Amnesty International has further noted: “[Silva] has also denounced the socio-environmental effects of oil operations, including those of Amerisur.”
In November 2019, GeoPark purchased the British-based Amerisur.
The Associated Press recently reported: “In December 2020 … a respected Colombian human rights NGO’s report made a strong claim. The Interfaith Justice and Peace Commission alleged the Border Command was collaborating with Amerisur [an $800 million oil and gas firm based in Chile] to protect its oil operations.”
That article adds that five United Nations special rapporteurs for human rights also wrote to the chief of the UN Development Programme, Achim Steiner, warning: “Alleged links exist between the company (Amerisur) and the paramilitaries present in the area, which have been denounced by the Siona Peoples before the Constitutional Court.”
It also notes that GeoPark now operates “11 oilfields strung across the highly biodiverse Putumayo basin.”
And it comments: “Demand for crude oil continues to rise, not fall, underscoring the lure for oil companies and banks to keep operating as they have for decades.”
RBC, Amerisur and GeoPark
Though not mentioned in the article, both Amerisur and GeoPark appear to have had a longstanding relationship with the Royal Bank of Canada.
Notably, in May 2010, Amerisur announced that it had “appointed Royal Bank of Canada Europe Limited, trading as RBC Capital Markets, as its Nominated Adviser and Broker.”
Then in October 2012, Money Week reported: “RBC Capital Markets has Amerisur as a top pick, albeit in the speculative risk category.”
And in February 2013, Amerisur CEO John Wardle presented at the RBC Capital Markets’ International Exploration & Production Conference in Toronto.
Significantly, the Banking on Climate Chaos website documents that RBC provided USD $13.68 million in financing to GeoPark Colombia SAS in 2016 (three years before GeoPark bought Amerisur). That website also documents one Swiss bank and four American banks providing $750.00 million USD to Geopark Ltd. between 2016 and 2021.
We continue to follow this situation with concern.