Follow-up of our report on oil extraction in Colombia : Response to Pacific Exploration and Production

Press release
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Last September, following the release of the report “The Human Cost of Oil” the authors (FIDH, CCAJAR and PASO), together with Above Ground in Canada, have engaged with Export Development Canada (EDC) to obtain information about the agency’s due diligence practices in relation to this case.

The Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA), documented serious violations of labor regulations, criminalization of social leaders, environmental damages and negative impacts on the indigenous communities in Puerto Gaitan, associated with the activities of the Canadian multinational Pacific Exploration & Production and the Colombian State-owned enterprise Ecopetrol. Among the findings, the study revealed important financing from EDC to both companies. Given the gravity of the impacts documented, we the co-author organisations of the report, together with the Canadian NGO Above Ground, wrote to EDC expressing our concern about the agency’s due diligence process and its knowledge of the risks associated with oil activities in the region.

In their reply, EDC submitted Pacific Exploration & Production responses on their policies and actions regarding the report’s findings. However, as noted in our response to EDC, its letter does not provide any substantive answer to the issues highlighted and remains unclear about how the agency will address the abuses documented in the report.

Furthermore, the signatory organisations responded directly to Pacific Exploration & Production (see below) to clarify, complement and reaffirm the findings of the report, building on our research as well as on the results of follow-up actions carried out after the investigation. We reiterate the recommendations made in the report and express our openness to ongoing dialogue on this issues with the aim of furthering respect for the human and environmental rights of the affected populations of Puerto Gaitán.

Here is our response:

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