Gilberto Torres, the trade unionist who was kidnapped and tortured after he challenged oil companies is coming to Wales to tell his story TONIGHT at 6.30pm at the Temple of Peace, where there’ll be an evening of Colombian food, music and performances. Tickets are STILL AVAILABLE.
Gilberto is bringing a case with Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors against British Petroleum for his ordeal where he was taken, held for 42 days in insect infested pits, tortured and made to watch fellow captives being dismembered. He now lives in exile but wants to share his experience. He states:
“I want to discuss what action British people can take to stop the damage that multinationals are causing to human rights and the environment around the globe”.
Gilberto’s case is almost unheard of as he escaped with his life, something he puts down to the solidarity and support he received from people all over the world who called for his safe release. His case is just one of thousands of similar cases in Colombia and his region over 12,000 people have been murdered or disappeared since BP started oil exploration. He sees international solidarity from British Trade unionists and other groups as a crucial part of their struggle.
There has also been huge environmental destruction in his region due to the oil exploration people unable now to farm the land and experiencing grave drought and huge losses of livestock.
This is part of a UK wide tour being put on by Oil Justice which is a collaboration of War on Want, Colombian NGO COSPACC, and Deighton Pierce Glyn Solicitors. His solicitor Sue Willman said:
“Gilberto Torres is risking his safety by suing oil companies in UK and by coming here to seek the truth. He and his community face huge barriers in accessing justice. We hope his courage and the Oiljustice initiative will be a small step in breaking down those barriers, and changing the behaviour of corporations.”
Tom Lebert of War on Want said:
“Big oil companies are devastating communities across the world. Their operations have forced people from their land, polluted the environment, and led to widespread human rights violations. It’s time these companies were held to account..”
The event is being held by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and is part of their series on celebrating human rights and is free to attend.
There’s more information the Facebook event page.