torture, murder, murdered, trade union, trade unionist, abduction

“la solidaridad es la fuerza que necesitan los desvalidos” – “solidarity is the strength of the helpless” – Gilberto Torres

The effect of Big Oil companies across the world on rural communities is that companies have taken their land, and polluted their soils and rivers.

When people complain about their treatment they are often met with violent attacks and grave human rights abuses.  A classic example of this is what happened after BP and other oil companies moved into a rural part Colombia in the 1990s to explore and exploit oil, against the background of the  civil war. Two decades later there are stories of kidnap, torture, murder and disappearances. Big Oil has earned millions of dollars in profit yet the community remains impoverished..

Oil Justice wants to tell the story of the victims, and to hold Big Oil to account where corporate crimes have been committed.  We can find justice – but we need your help to raise funds!

Our work has already started! In the area of our flagship project in the Casanare region of Colombia over 12,000 people have either been murdered or disappeared since BP started its oil operations in the region (almost 4% of the population!).  The Guardian newspaper just released a documentary with revelations the role of oil companies in these crimes.

human rights abuses by oil companies

 

In Casanare we are taking a case on behalf of Colombian trade unionist, Gilberto Torres in civil proceedings against BP and other oil companies in the UK.  Gilberto was kidnapped, tortured and kept in an insect infested pit by paramilitaries, who also forced him to watch another captive being dismembered.  It seems it was only through local trade union support and international pressure  that Gilberto was released with his life.

Gilberto’s case uncovered thousands of others and has opened the door to bring justice to an entire community.  Oil Justice now needs to raise £50,000 in the first year to investigate these cases and ensure accountability of those responsible – please help us by donating today.

We are a unique collaboration between Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors, War on Want   and Colombian NGO COSPACC.  We aim to develop a new and unique community-led modelto obtain justice for the entire community, not just compensation for minority. Our goal i sto rebuild an empower communities to also help develop proposals to strengthen domestic policy and laws. We will bring cases, empower communities, create awareness, and lobby the Government.

UWA woamn with baby 2We cannot do this without your support!  In the first year we need to raise £50k to pay for things like gathering evidence, translating masses of documents, hiring experts and community workers.  The work we do could benefit thousands of people in these communities and beyond both financially and by creating lasting structural change, so visit War on Wants fundraising page today and donate to help the victims of oil companies fight for justice.