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The Profiteer's Bulletin - March 2013

This bulletin consists of an electronic version (below), but also a PDF version that we invite you to print and distribute in your workplace. We also encourage you to invite your colleagues and allies to subscribe to this email list in order to receive the bulletin on a regular basis, as well as to receive “urgent action” appeals that PASC uses to solicit endorsements to communicate officially with the Canadian embassy in Colombia when human rights violations occur that are attributable to the actions of Canadian companies.

Pacific Rubiales Energy : Canadian transnational on trial

As part of its Canadian War Profiteers campaign, PASC will take part in the People’s Tribunal on foreign companies in Colombia. The people’s tribunal is being organised by Colombian civil society groups and will be held during the summer of 2013. Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales Energy is one of the companies that will be put on trial. Pacific Rubiales employs approximately 14,000 workers on its oil fields in the Puerto Gaítan and Camp Rubiales regions in the Meta department through a network of subcontractors.

On December 11th 2012  Milton Riveras Parra, an electrician working with Termotecnica, a company subcontracted by Pacific Rubiales, was assassinated. Following Mr. Parra’s murder, various Canadian organisations and labour unions contacted the Canadian embassy in Colombia but were simply told that Canada is very concerned by the human rights situation in Colombia and frequently brought it up with the Colombian government.

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SNC-Lavalin in Arauca, still where they shouldn’t be

Between the 21st of January and March 2013, thousands of members of various civil society organisations in the department of Arauca have been blockading transnational oil and energy companies that operate throughout the department. In Colombia, such actions are commonly known as a paro civico (“civic strike”) and the mobilisation in Arauca is the largest such paro civico since 2005.
Civil society organisations and individuals who are participating in the blockades are demanding that the transnational corporations and the Colombian government fulfil their social, humanitarian, and environmental obligations to the residents of the Arauca department.Several leaders of the movement are now victims of prosecution, arrest warrants have been issued on the day of the suspension of the strike.

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More on The Arauca strike: "Piqueteros" Colombian style

Agreement at Cerrejón Colombia

Workers at Carbones del Cerrejón Limited in La Guajira have ended the strike that began on 9 February after their union signed a new collective agreement that provides improved working conditions. The agreement will remain in force until 2015. Workers will receive a $7,000 bonus accompanied by a 5.1 per cent pay increase in the first year and further inflation-linked pay rises.

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Talisman Energy, Enbridge, and the OCENSA pipeline in Centro Oriente province

The Canadian oil company Enbridge has the largest oil pipeline grid in the world, which includes the oil pipeline between Canada and the United States. The company is also championing the 1177-km Northern Gateway megaproject in British Columbia, slated to carry Albertan tar sands oil to a deep-water port on the Pacific.

Since 1994, Enbridge has owned a quarter interest in the 800-kilometer OCENSA pipeline, one of the largest Canadian investments in Colombia. OCENSA carries 500,000 barrels of oil a day produced by the Canadian company Talisman Energy. Talisman Energy is known in Québec for its involvement in shale gas.

Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC) toured the Boyaca region in March 2013 gathering testimony from residents who complain about the rise in paramilitary activity in their midst.

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'Congress for Peace' aims to add Colombian social movement proposals to peace process

"We think that peace is important and we want to talk about it on a local level. We don't think peace should just be discussed between the guerrillas and the government," said Fernanda Espinosa, an organiser with Congreso de los Pueblos, the network of groups organising the event.

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A Call to the International Community from the Peace Congress

For these reasons, the People’s Congress calls upon the international community, the peoples of the world, supportive governments, grassroots organizations throughout the Americas, political organizations with a vision of social transformation, and to all men and women to participate in all the aforementioned national and international scenarios, and in the Peace Congress, which will take place in Bogota, Colombia from April 19-22, with the goal of compiling all the proposals and discussing and defining a mandate for peace.

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Colombia bans ‘blank vote’ propaganda in campaign against hydroelectric dam

The National Electoral Council on Wednesday banned propaganda for a campaign for "blank votes" in a gubernatorial race heavily influenced by a hydroelectric dam project in southwest Colombia.

A gubernatorial campaign in Huila in which the main parties put forward a single joint candidate has been left looking even less democratic after the counter "blank vote" campaign was declared illegal by the electoral regulator of Colombia.

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