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article imageColombian farmers sue BP in British court for $29 million

By Ocean Malandra     Oct 16, 2014 in Environment
London - For the first time ever, BP will have to face UK courts over its actions overseas and may have to pay compensation for environmental degradation to private property. Experts are calling this a landmark environmental case.
Just a month after a U.S. court ruled that the energy giant's "reckless conduct" was responsible for the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is facing new charges from Colombian campesinos.
Maintaining that the British energy company severely damaged their farms when it built the 500-mile OCENSA oil pipeline across their property in the 1990s, over 70 rural landowners are suing BP for monetary compensation equaling £18 Million ($28.6 million ).
Several of these campesinos, who live in the mountainous countryside of Colombia's interior, are traveling to London this week to testify in front of the UK's High Court.
“At last the farmers are going to have a chance to tell their stories and to have their case decided." says lawyer Shubhaa Srinivasan, who is representing the small farmers, "We feel it is really important that big companies are held to account for the way in which they undertake their activities abroad – especially when those activities take place in remote corners of faraway places out of the public gaze.”
If the case is successful, it could open the doors for other rural communities in developing nations who have been negatively impacted by pipeline construction to seek damages as well.
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