Modal close

Hi there!

Did you know that you can get our headlines, stories and web exclusives delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information.

British Petroleum and Oil Politics in Colombia

Default content image
Media Options

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.


  • 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:

Related Story

Video squareStoryNov 15, 2013Jailed for Life for Stealing a $159 Jacket? 3,200 Serving Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Crimes
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 Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop