Guest commentary by David Middleton
From the “[fill in the blank] on record” files…
Record 207 environmental activists killed last year
24 JUL 2018
More than 200 environmental activists were murdered last year as government-sponsored killings linked to lucrative projects by vast agriculture multinationals soared, a global rights watchdog warned on Tuesday.
Global Witness said it had documented 207 cases where activists were killed while trying to protect land from development, often for the production of consumer staples such as coffee and palm oil, making 2017 the deadliest year on record for environmentalists.
“As global demand for these products increases, there’s a scramble by business actors to get the massive amount of land they need to grow these products,” Ben Leather, senior campaigner at Global Witness, told AFP.
“When people dare to stand up for their rights and demand that the environment be protected they are silenced in the most brutal way.”
The watchdog said it had found evidence that government actors — soldiers or police — were responsible for 53 of the deaths.
Global Witness’ report on environmentalist killings documents harrowing crimes around the world against communities daring to speak out against big businesses and government-led development.
By far the most frequent victims of violence were indigenous peoples, who are often already maligned by governments and society.
For some reason, I think that many American Indian Nations would take issue with 2017 being the “deadliest year on record for” indigenous peoples, who happened to be in the way of “big businesses and government-led development” of their lands.
And anyone with an IQ above single digits should take issue with calling these victims “environmental activists.” The headline gives the impression that “big business and “government-led” developers were slaughtering Greenpeace, EDF, NRDC, WWF and 350.org
terrorists activists. When, in fact, the article is mostly about government-backed slaughter of indigenous peoples in Brazil, The Philippines and other schist holes developing nations.
Alexander Soros is the founder of The Alexander Soros Foundation, an organization promoting civil rights, social justice and education. In addition to his advisory board role at Global Witness, he also sits on the boards of Bend the Arc, which supports grassroots efforts to strengthen lower-income neighborhoods across the U.S., and the Open Society Foundations, which work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies. He graduated from New York University and is pursuing a doctorate in European History at the University of California, Berkeley. His op-eds have appeared in The Miami Herald, Politico, and The Guardian.
Alexander is George’s son and Global Witness’ raison d’être appears to be a combination of run-of-the-mill Enviromarxism and Trump Derangement Syndrome…
Report of the directors
For the year ended 31 December 2017
A summary of our key achievements during 2017 are listed below as well as how we intend to build on and defend these gains in the coming year.
Fighting the US’ descent into kieptocracy
- Following the 2016 United States’ presidential elections, we began monitoring the increasing parallels between the actions of the President of the United States and his aides and those of kleptocracies like Cambodia, Angola or Equatorial Guinea. 2017 saw a host of moves by the Trump Administration and Congress, backed by the American Petroleum Institute, to attack transparency and anti-corruption efforts. At the beginning of the year we repeatedly raised concerns about the appointment as Secretary of State of Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil: a company which has a record of engaging in questionable oil deals, and leading attempts to undermine anti-corruption policies, as well as facing allegations of purposefully misleading the public on climate change.
- We have also been heavily engaged in efforts to ensure that the U.S. Congress cannot undo a vitally important transparency law, which we have been campaigning on for 20 years. The bipartisan law, known as the Cardin Lugar anti-corruption provision, is designed to stop U.S.-listed extractive companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and several Chinese oil majors, striking corrupt deals, by requiring them to disclose the details of their payments to governments. In December, all the Republicans (bar one) on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee voted to pass a bill that would repeal the anti-corruption provision. The law remains intact but under threat.
- In our publication Narco-a-Lago: Money Laundering at the Trump Ocean Club, Panama we revealed how Donald Trump made millions from selling his name to a luxury development used to launder money from Latin American drug cartels over a period of time starting in 2006. While there is no evidence he broke the law, Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. We also used this investigation to highlight the problem of anonymous companies and property ownership in facilitating money laundering, as part of our global campaign to end anonymous company ownership.
Speaking of ExxonMobil in Equatorial Guinea, the phrase “win-win” comes to mind.
A win for ExxonMobil…
ExxonMobil makes oil discovery offshore Equatorial Guinea
HOUSTON, Dec. 11
By Tayvis Dunnahoe
OGJ Exploration Editor
ExxonMobil Corp. is now assessing potential commerciality at its Avestruz-1 well on Block EG-06 160 km offshore Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The operator drilled the oil discovery in October but has not released any production data.
Block EG-06 is next to the legacy oil-producing Block B and EG-11, ExxonMobil’s most recent acquisition in the region (OGJ Online, June 5, 2017).
Avestruz-1 is adjacent to ExxonMobil’s Zafiro field in Equatorial Guinea’s northern maritime area. Zafiro has produced more than 1 billion bbl of oil since 1996. In May, ExxonMobil subsidiary Mobil Equatorial Guinea Inc. let a 5-year contract to GEPsing to continue operation and maintenance of the Serpentina floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on Zafiro field (OGJ Online, May 12, 2017).
And a win for Equatorial Guinea…
ExxonMobil Makes New Oil Find in Equatorial Guinea Block EG-06
The government of Equatorial Guinea has partnered with ExxonMobil in Block EG-06 through a 20-percent stake held by national oil company GEPetrol
- ExxonMobil discovered oil at its Block EG-06 Avestruz-1 well, drilled in October 2017.
- Commerciality is yet to be established for the Avestruz discovery.
- The block is located next to the legacy oil-producing Block B and EG-11, ExxonMobil’s most recently signed acreage.
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, Dec. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ExxonMobil (http://corporate.ExxonMobil.com) has struck oil with its Avestruz-1 well in Block EG-06, announced the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea (www.EquatorialOil.com). The well was drilled in October 2017. The operator is now assessing potential commerciality.
Avestruz-1 is located approximately 160 kilometers offshore Malabo in an exploration area adjacent to ExxonMobil’s Zafiro field, a prolific legacy oilfield in Equatorial Guinea’s northern maritime area. The company signed its production sharing contract for Block EG-06 in 2015, followed by its entry into nearby Block EG-11 in 2017.
“Equatorial Guinea’s partnership with ExxonMobil continues to yield new oil discoveries, testifying to the huge potential in this country and our enabling environment for oil and gas exploration,” said Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima. “We hope that commerciality will be established at Avestruz-1 and look forward to seeing more developments in the areas surrounding Block B.”
The government of Equatorial Guinea has partnered with ExxonMobil in Block EG-06 through a 20-percent stake held by national oil company GEPetrol. An ExxonMobil local subsidiary is the operator with 80 percent. At the Zafiro field in Block B, ExxonMobil’s affiliate has a 71.25 percent interest, GEPetrol has 23.75 percent and the state has 5 percent. Since 1996 Zafiro has produced over 1 billion barrels of oil.
What’s a more likely pathway for Equatorial Guinea to join the “First World”?
- ExxonMobil and other oil companies partnering with them to develop their petroleum resources.
- Global Witness and other Enviromarxist
terroristactivist groups preventing ExxonMobil and other oil companies partnering with them to develop their petroleum resources.