US presidential hopeful ignored human rights abuses when she was Secretary of State after receiving millions from oil firm Pacific Rubiales, report alleges
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supported a Colombia-US trade deal after her family’s foundation received millions of dollars in donations from the oil firm Pacific Rubiales, a report in the International Business Times (IBT) last week alleged.
The IBT report on April 8 said the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from the Canadian oil giant, which is heavily active in Colombia, in 2011, when Clinton was the US Secretary of State – despite calls from activists not to support the deal because of human rights violations.
The same year, striking Colombian oil workers were rounded up at gunpoint by members of the Colombian Army and “threatened with violence if they didn’t disband,” the report states.
Pacific Rubiales executive Frank Giustra personally gave $4.4 million USD to the foundation as part of a deal to form a joint-venture between the two firms, according to the report. Giustra now sits on the Clinton Foundation’s board of directors, it adds.
Clinton announced on Sunday she is running for the US presidency in 2016. It will be the second time she runs for that country’s top office.
Clinton “reacted with silence” to reports of human rights abuses in Colombia. She allegedly did nothing when Colombian unions and rights groups urged the then-Secretary of State to pressure the Colombian government to protect labour organisers.
Later, the US State Department publicly praised Colombia’s “progress” on human rights. This paved the way for “hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid to flow to the same military that labour activists say helped intimidate workers,” according to the IBT report.
“After millions of dollars were pledged by the oil company to the Clinton Foundation – supplemented by millions more from Giustra himself – Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial US-Colombia trade pact,” according to the report.