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13 Feb 2020

Karen Savage, Drilled News

Indigenous women accuse Credit Suisse of rights violations for continuing to bankroll fossil fuels

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Three Native American women have accused the global banking giant Credit Suisse of violating the human rights of Indigenous peoples, and have asked the firm to stop financing companies that are building and maintaining two oil pipelines in the United States... In a formal complaint... the women said that Credit Suisse failed to ensure that the companies working on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana, as well the multi-state Dakota Access Pipeline, followed the organization’s guidelines for consulting with and seeking consent from nearby Indigenous communities regarding the pipelines.

... The complaint comes after two years of discussions with Credit Suisse, said Osprey Orielle Lake,executive director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network "Every time we met with them they would say, ‘We are not investing in projects, we are only investing in the overall corporate structure of that company and giving them money — we have no say where that money goes... You cannot give to a company that is committing Indigenous or human rights violations and lift your hands and say, 'We have nothing to do with this because we're not involved with that project directly.'”... Lake said by continuing to provide the companies with general funding despite the evidence of abuses related to the Dakota Access Pipeline, Credit Suisse allowed the same companies to again harm Indigenous peoples and the environment in 2018, during construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana.

... Lake said Credit Suisse’s continued financing of the companies behind the pipelines is further evidence that both its internal guidelines, as well as the resolution of the 2017 complaint, have not led to recognition and observance of Indigenous rights.