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The communities of Tauramena municipality, Colombia, located to the South-West of Casanare department, have been suffering for years impacts to their territory caused by the oil industry.
For this reason, Colombian Social Association for Community Assistance and Capacity Building (COSPAC) and British Solidarity Campaign UK will submit a case to denounce British Petroleum at the Permanent Peoples´ Tribunal.
According to the organizations, BP has dried natural water wells, polluting water resources for human consumption. In addition, it has caused landslides and sound and atmospheric contamination. The oil company has violated union rights and has threatened families to force them to sell their lands. BP has also contributed to gender discrimination in the region. Women are only given cleaning and cooking jobs and receive lower salaries.
Also, the organizations denounce that “all kinds of crimes take place in the exploration and exploitation areas. There are over two thousand cases of forced disappearance, nine thousand murders, threats, forced displacements, and a generalized atmosphere of fear. This prevented communities from claiming their lawful rights against BP”.
The organizations state that oil companies such as BP and Oleoducto Central SA (Ocensa) “have not complied with their responsibility to search alternatives to oil”, and “have only limited to build small housing solutions and small contributions that do not represent an improvement for the entire community”.
That is why the plaintiffs are demanding an assessment of the environmental impacts of oil companies, the establishment of mechanisms that force companies to respect human and union rights, and that social investments by the company should be spent on general interest projects, aimed to make the economy move away from oil.
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