Canadian oil producer lands in Colombia displacement debate


Canadian oil producer lands in Colombia displacement debate

Vancouver-based oil producer Pacific Rubiales has illegally acquired lands for its Colombia operations, according to accusations made by Colombian senator Jorge Robledo.

Senador Jorge Enrique Robledo

Senador Jorge Enrique Robledo (Photo credit: jimmy_jazz_ataca)

Robledo has accused the independent oil producer of illegally occupying some 7,500 hectares of land.

The senator claimed Pacific Rubiales has taken legal actions to remove residents near Puerto Gaitán, in the department of Meta. Robledo, a member of the leftist Polo Democrático Alternativo, said in a report by rcnradio.com that there have been campesinos living in the land sought by Pacific Rubiales for more than 10 years.

Robledo said the land sought by Rubiales is fertile land which should be used as part of the long sought agrarian reform in Colombia. Agrarian reform is one of the key subjects of negotiation between Colombia´s national government the FARC, the largest armed revolutionary group in Colombia.

Pacific Rubiales on Wednesday denied any impropriety.

The energy company said it has acquired its land in a legal and transparent manner. The company said the lands were sold some 20 years ago and Pacific Rubiales later purchased the lands.

It argued the oil resources found beneath the surface should exclude the lands from being included in distribution under agrarian reform policies.

Displacement of campesinos is a huge problem in Colombia. Between four and five million Colombians have been displaced within their country.

Many of the recent violent displacement of Colombian citizens has been in areas with rich mineral and petroleum resources.

“In fact, 80% of the human rights violations that have occurred in Colombia in the last ten years were committed in mining and energy-producing regions, and 87% of Colombia’s displaced population originate from these places,” Peace Brigades International said in its 2011 report: Mining in Colombia: At What Cost?

For more information in English, please read: http://www.peacebrigades.org/fileadmin/user_files/projects/colombia/files/colomPBIa/111203_mining_in_colombia_web.pdf

And in Spanish: http://www.rcnradio.com/noticias/pacific-rubiales-niega-que-se-este-apoderando-tierras-en-el-meta-100467

http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/pacific-rubiales-desmiente-apropiacion-ilegal-de-baldio-articulo-457835

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About Connecting Colombias

Recently retired newspaper reporter with one foot in British Columbia, Canada, the other in Colombia, South America. Fascinated with Colombian culture, Canadian connections, and heroic efforts to return millions of displaced Colombians to lands stolen by paramilitaries, guerrillas and organized crime.

2 responses to “Canadian oil producer lands in Colombia displacement debate”

  1. colombiadiaries says :

    It is important to highlight the impact of foreign corporations in Colombia as you do here. the PBI quote shows the scale of the problem. For the last 500 years the richness of the land has led to poverty, abuse and exploitation in Colombia, but displacement and worse to acquire Colombia’s natural resources are huge problems today.

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