Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

British Petroleum and Oil Politics in Colombia

March 09, 1999
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

Occidental Oil is not the only major oil multinational operating in Colombia–British Petroleum also has extensive operations in the Casanare region of the country. The company has been tied to the training and arming of Colombian military units that have been linked to massacres and other serious human rights violations. British Petroleum’s oil pipelines have been targeted by one of Colombia’s guerrilla groups, the ELN (National Liberation Army) for repeated bombings in protest of its environmental practices, its growing power in the region and its ties to the military. There is mounting evidence that implicates BP in the dirty war waged against those who challenge its policies, including labor rights groups and environmental activists.

In a series of investigations by the media and by human rights organizations, it was revealed that BP’s security firm, Defense Systems Limited (DSL), had trained the Colombian police in counterinsurgency and intelligence techniques used against local communities, and that it had also been involved in providing weapons to the 16th Battalion of the Colombian army, which then conducted a massacre.

Guest:

  • Michael Gillard, reporter for The Guardian of London who broke the story on the relationship between British Petroleum and units of the Colombian military that have been tied to serious human rights abuses in the Casanare, the oil-rich region where BP operates. He also produced two documentaries for the national show "World in Action" linking BP’s security company, DSL, to the training of the Colombian police on counterinsurgency and intelligence techniques to spy on local communities.

Related link:


The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.