PBI-Colombia accompanies COSPACC and BHRRC in Casanare to receive testimonies about impacts of oil companies

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

On August 16, PBI-Colombia posted:

“We accompany @CospaccOficial [Social Corporation for Community Advice and Training] and @CIEDHes [Information Center on Business and Human Rights/BHRRC] in #Casanare listening to testimonies from those who experience environmental impacts caused by oil companies. Testimonies to record a documentary on the environmental and social effects suffered by communities in the region.”

PBI-Colombia also posted in English:

Notably, Calgary-based Frontera Energy is one of the companies that operates in Casanare. Concerns have been raised about Frontera that the company denies.

Michel Forst report

Following his visit to Colombia in 2019, then-UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst wrote in this report to the Human Rights Council:

  1. In the context of efforts to defend land and environmental rights, at least 202 defenders have been prosecuted since 2012. By way of example, during the Special Rapporteur’s visit, eight leaders from San Luis de Palenque were arrested and accused of collusion to commit an offence, violence against a public servant and obstructing a public road, and two of them with attempted homicide in connection with their participation in and leadership of the social protests between 2016 and 2018 in response to the failure of Canadian public company Frontera Energy to fulfil its obligation to compensate communities affected by environmental damage and to repair damaged roads. These human rights defenders remain deprived of their liberty, three of them in prison and five on house arrest.
  2. The Special Rapporteur is concerned at the apparent connection between Frontera Energy, the army’s 16th brigade and the Attorney General’s Support Office in this criminalization and the possible impact of the agreement between Ecopetrol S.A. and the Attorney General’s Office on the situation. In November 2018, Frontera Energy signed two agreements with the Ministry of Defence for a total of US$ 1,343,106 to secure army protection for its activities. On 4 December 2018, the army and the police accused the aforementioned leaders of being members of “Los Jinetes con Careta”, an illegal armed group whose existence has yet to be recognized by the competent authorities. Furthermore, since 2015, Ecopetrol, the main Colombian hydrocarbon exploitation company, has signed five cooperation agreements with the Attorney General’s Office for a total of US$ 24,698,485 to strengthen the investigative and prosecutorial capacity of the Attorney General’s Support Office to deal – inter alia – with crimes of obstruction of public roads during social protests that affect the functioning of Ecopetrol and/or its associated companies, such as Frontera Energy.

PBI-Canada visit to Casanare, July 2022

On July 1, 2022, PBI-Canada visited with the social leaders in San Luis de Palenque, Casanare to hear their testimonies of their experiences with Frontera Energy.

The following morning we met with lawyer Reymundo Velasquez to further discuss the situation and then spent the afternoon with Ninfa Cruz at the COSPACC office in Yopal.

Webinar, October 2022

On October 11, 2022, PBI-Canada and PBI-Colombia collaborated on a webinar featuring Ferney Salcedo and Yulivel Leal, as well as Reymundo Velasquez from the Committee of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) and Ninfa Cruz from COSPACC.

To watch the webinar in original English/Spanish audio, click here.

Key excerpts from the webinar can be read at PBI-Canada webinar: Frontera Energy vs San Luis de Palenque, Colombia (October 11, 2022).

Shareholders meeting, May 2023

We also amplified the testimonies of Oscar Ramirez (CSPP), Ferney Salcedo (social leader from San Luis de Palenque, Casanare) and Gustavo Torres (social leader from Orocue, Casanare) at the time of Frontera Energy’s virtual shareholders meeting in Toronto.

Click to watch Video 1

Click to watch Video 2 

Click to watch Video 3

We continue to follow this situation with concern.

Share This Page
Categories: Urgent Actions


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *