Tag Archives: Colombia

Eye on the Amazon: Investors Balking on Ecuador’s Amazonian Oil Auction

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Investors Balking on Ecuador’s Amazonian Oil Auction

The Sarayaku forest at dawnLast month Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa issued an apology for the oil spill that wreaked havoc on communities and ecosystems throughout the Amazon Basin. The 420,000-gallon spill flowed downstream to Peru and has impacted at least 32 indigenous communities in the Amazonian province of Loreto, prompting the Peruvian government to threaten legal action. Brazil, worried that the spill will reach its border, has alerted its navy, and Ecuador has hired U.S. company Oil Spill Response to test for contamination in Brazil and Colombia.

What the media narrative has largely missed is that there is an oil spill nearly every week in Ecuador. Just between 2000 and 2010 there were 539 oil spills. So why is this spill gathering international media attention while hundreds of others go unreported?

Read the rest on Eye on the Amazon »

Child Soldiers … MercyCorps

There are days when you cry, you miss your family, you remember your dreams...

As many as 14,000 children in Colombia are fighting in a deadly, cocaine-fueled conflict. Most of them come from rural areas, where poverty is a way of life, education is limited and opportunities are few.

Hundreds of youth are rescued or escape each year. Learn why they leave home, how they survive, and the steps they take to rejoin society.

See the facts in our infographic,
“I was a child soldier in Colombia.” ▸
Reclaiming children of war: Colombia's child soldiers

Tell UW: Cut the contract with human rights abuser

Can you imagine handing millions of dollars to a corporation charged with everything from racial discrimination and poverty wage rates to union busting and price gouging?

Neither can the students of the University of Washington.

That’s why they started a campaign to urge UW President Phyllis Wise to cut the university’s contract with food service provider Sodexo, an international human rights abuser. Click here to sign their petition.


The world’s 22nd largest employer, Sodexo has a record of human rights violations that has been condemned by the National Labor Relations Board and Human Rights Watch. In the last decade alone, they’ve been accused of:

•Failing to provide safety equipment required by Colombian law, such as hardhats, to workers at their Carbones de la Jagua coal mine.

•Segregating Guinean employees, including managers, from European and other non-Guinean staff during meals at an iron mine in Simandou.

•Paying U.S. workers such low wages that they qualify for federal anti-poverty programs and denying requests for overtime.

•Intimidating—and retaliating against—workers in the U.S., Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Morocco in response to attempts to unionize.

What’s more, Sodexo has a nasty habit of cheating clients. One Sodexo scheme to squeeze extra cash from New York’s public institutions resulted in a lawsuit and a $20 million settlement.

Yet President Wise isn’t budging.

Over the past seven months, UW students have led protests, delivered letters, and met with administration officials in an effort to prevent their tuition dollars from flowing into Sodexo’s deep pockets.

Rather than engaging with students, UW officials are throwing up barriers to dialogue.

In fact, UW officials chose to arrest 40 students attending sit-ins rather than talk to them.

UW students need public support to break the gridlock.

To stand with Washington students and pressure President Wise to cut UW’s contract with Sodexo, sign here: