Peruvian indigenous leaders file OECD complaint against 'Dutch' oil company alleging environmental pollution

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Article
12 March 2020

Complaint alleges oil company left Peru communities’ environment in ruins

Author: Mongabay

Leaders of several indigenous communities have lodged a complaint with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, that a Netherlands-based oil company fouled the environment in Peru’s slice of the Amazon Rainforest in which they live, threatening the region’s species and sullying water sources.

The complaint also charges that the company, Pluspetrol, sought to avoid paying taxes through its convoluted ownership structure...

Pluspetrol’s parent company is headquartered in Amsterdam, according to its website. But the Dutch research NGO Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, known as SOMO, contends that its presence in the Netherlands is little more than a mailing address...

The complaint maintains that such tax avoidance schemes violate OECD guidelines around transparency. It also calls attention to the environmental damage caused by the company’s activities in the 15 years it operated in the region...

OECD Watch and SOMO say the company has shirked its responsibility to restore the local environment. Mongabay’s request for comment from Pluspetrol before publication went unanswered.

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Article
10 March 2020

Complaint against 'Dutch' oil company Pluspetrol for violation of OECD guidelines

Author: SOMO

On 11 March 2020, indigenous leaders from Peru file a complaint against oil company Pluspetrol to the National Contact Point for the OECD guidelines... Originally an Argentinian company, with its headquarters in Amsterdam via a “letterbox construction”, it has allegedly serious caused severe environmental pollution, violating the rights of indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon. According to the complaint, Pluspetrol also acts contrary to OECD provisions on taxation and transparency, because its Dutch office has set up fiscal constructions that make tax avoidance possible...

With their complaint, the indigenous leaders, and co-complainants [...] ask the National Contact Point (NCP) [...] to examine Pluspetrol’s social policy and to mediate between the communities and the company so that the company takes its responsibility and cleans up the pollution in the rainforest.

Following an investigation by the NCP in 2019, Minister Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) urged the Dutch oil and gas sector to come up with an action plan to improve compliance with the OECD guidelines by the first quarter of 2020. This complaint clearly shows that policymakers need to do more to bring the activities of oil and gas companies into line with international standards for responsible business.

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