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20 Jul 2016

National Observer

“Canadian petroleum giant accused of environmental, human rights abuses in Colombia”

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…Toronto-based Pacific Exploration & Production is allegedly violating labour regulations, causing environmental damage, and negatively impacting the survival of local Indigenous communities near the Rubiales-Pirirí and Quifa oil concessions in Colombia, according to a damning report by a coalition of South American lawyers and international NGOs, released Tuesday…They found that 81 per cent of employees did not believe their employer allowed for free and voluntary union membership, and that the subcontracting models used by Pacific amounted to illegal outsourcing….They further found that the company had contracted a private security company which hindered the movement of free trade unionists, members of Congress, and community leaders, and has disturbing "co-operation agreements" with the Colombian Prosecutor General's Office and National Police that have not been made available to the public….In an email statement to National Observer, Pacific said that it "completely and categorically" disagreed with the report's findings. Pacific is part of a select group of 28 companies admitted to the international Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights initiative, and has strict sustainability and ethics guides.