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26 May 2015

Mary Carson, Adrian Gatton, Rodrigo Vázquez & Maggie O'Kane, Guardian (UK)

Colombian trade unionist sues BP before UK courts over alleged complicity in his abduction by paramilitaries 13 years ago

"Colombian takes BP to court in UK over alleged complicity in kidnap and torture", 22 May 2015

A Colombian trade union leader is beginning an unprecedented claim for damages against BP in the high court in London, alleging the oil company’s complicity in his kidnap and torture 13 years ago...BP denies any involvement...Torres worked for the oil workers’ union...representing 400 members working on the...Ocensa pipeline...set up by major oil companies including BP...BP paid a government tax of $1 a barrel to help finance army and police protection of oil facilities... Sue Willman...representing Torres, said there would be no accusation that BP was directly involved...But the company had failed to take action to halt paramilitary activity...“Amnesty International went to BP...warning them about the murders and disappearances. But BP failed to act effectively on the warnings.” Pro-government paramilitaries who were convicted in Bogotá of kidnapping Torres claimed that Ocensa had paid for the murder...Ocensa said it “did not commission, order or pay for Gilberto Torres’s kidnapping”...BP, Ocensa and Ecopetrol all deny they paid paramilitaries to guard the pipeline...