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Banktrack presents human rights abuses’ allegations by Drummond in Colombia to 7 banks providing finance to the coal company; only 2 disclose any action taken in response

In its second Human Rights Impact Assessment briefing, Banktrack contacted seven banks that provided loans to coal company Drummond. The Dutch peace movement PAX has investigated reports of links between violence in Colombia and mining companies operating there, including Drummond. BankTrack presented the seven banks with details of these allegations; the responses from the banks to Banktrack are below. Separately, Drummond sent us a letter it had sent to PAX, as well as a summary of the case against lawyers representing the victims. Drummond’s documents are below as well.

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Article
26 May 2016

Response by Drummond to Pax

Author: Drummond

We have seen a copy of a letter you circulated earlier this year to several energy companies in Europe, urging them to disengage their business with Drummond.  Once again you are making false allegations regarding supposed human rights violations, and asking that you provide remediation to the victims of the violent conflict that has been ongoing in Colombia for more than 50 years…[As] we have stated publicly, at Drummond we share with the vast majority of Colombians and the international community the pain for all the victims of violence in Colombia…

Download the full document here

Article
26 May 2016

“Drummond and Paramilitary Violence in Colombia”

Author: Bank Track

Drummond Company Inc. is a privately-owned coal mining Company…with the majority of its coal production located in the Cesar mining region of Colombia. This region, including the area in the vicinity of the company’s mines, has been beset by paramilitary violence, the impacts of which have been profound for the local population…Further to this, legal testimonies examined by PAX indicate that mining companies including Drummond supported the paramilitaries in several ways, including requesting their establishment and providing financial support…Seven banks…have been identified as providing loans to Drummond between 2010 and 2015. This briefing investigates how these banks have fulfilled their responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including to seek to prevent or mitigate human rights impacts linked to their services, and to account for how they address such impacts. 

Download the full document here

Article
26 May 2016

“New BankTrack Human Rights Impact Briefing: Drummond and paramilitary violence in Colombia”

Author: Bank Track

Second Human Rights Impact Assessment Briefing

BankTrack…publishes the second in its series of Human Rights Impact Briefings, focusing on the coal company Drummond and the seven banks which have financed it since 2010. The briefing finds that despite allegations of their client's involvement in serious human rights violations only two of these seven banks were able to disclose any action taken in response…Drummond produces the majority of its coal in the Cesar mining region of Colombia, an area in which paramilitary violence has had profound impacts for the local population. Conservative estimates suggest paramilitaries drove over 55,000 farmers from their land and killed at least 3,100 people in the period from 1996 to 2006, with the intention of defending the interests and properties of the local economic elite against guerrilla activities…The Dutch peace movement PAX has investigated reports of links between this violence and mining companies operating in the area, including Drummond…BankTrack presented the seven banks that had provided loans to Drummond since 2010 with details of these allegations...Only two banks - Citigroup and BNP Paribas - responded with details of how they had sought to address these impacts. In a welcome move, BNP Paribas responded that it has suspended finance with Drummond for environmental and human rights reasons. Citigroup reported that it has engaged with Drummond on issues including security and human rights, but its response indicates it is satisfied that human rights are well-managed at the company…Bank of America, BBVA, HSBC, Mizuho Financial and Wells Fargo did not disclose any  response to the issues identified, and showed no evidence that they are meeting the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles in this case. With the exception of BBVA, the banks stated that as a general policy they do not, or cannot, comment on their links to specific companies they finance.

How banks responded

  • Response outlining some action taken in response to the issues raised: BNP Paribas; Citigroup
  • Confirmation of link with Drummond, but no comment on the specific issues raised: BBVA
  • No confirmation of link with Drummond, and no comment on the specific issues raised: Bank of America; HSBC; Mizuho Financial; Wells Fargo

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Article
26 May 2016

“Summary of US District Court Opinion and Order”

Author: Drummond

Case 2:11-cv-03695-RDP-TMP Document 417 Filed 12/07/15

Drummond wants to make there is awareness of a United States District Court Opinion and Order implicating the attorney who has filed serial lawsuits against Drummond for over a decade…The Court found there was probable cause to believe Terrence Collingsworth, an attorney, and his law firm Conrad & Scherer, committed a “crime or fraud” that vitiated the sacrosanct attorney privilege, making previously withheld documents discoverable by Drummond. Specifically, the Court held “the court has no hesitation in finding that there is (at least) probable cause to believe that Collingsworth, while prosecuting lawsuits on behalf of his firm, engaged in witness bribery and suborning perjury.”…

Download the full document here