Killings - an introduction

Below are select introductory materials on killings.  Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Killings" section of our site.

Key reports & guidance

Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide, OHCHR, IBLF, UN Global Compact & Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Faculty of Law, Monash University, Dec 2008 (scroll down to page 9, “Article 6: Right to life”).

Collective Report on Business and Human Rights, Submission to the 8th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, International Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), June 2008 (scroll down to page 13, “Right to life, liberty & security of person”).

"Fanning the Flames: The role of British mining companies in conflict and the violation of human rights", War on Want, Nov 2007.

Arms without borders, Amnesty Intl., Intl. Network on Small Arms, Oxfam, Oct 2006.

Deadly ventures? Multinational corporations and paramilitaries in Colombia, Olga Martin-Ortega, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of East London (UK), 2008.

Human Rights Watch study found "virtually no progress" in getting convictions for killings of trade unionists in Colombia, Human Rights Watch, Oct 2011.

Concerns, company responses & non-responses

Below we give examples of concerns regarding companies and killings.  In cases where the Resource Centre has invited companies to respond to allegations of misconduct, we indicate whether the company has responded.

Angola: Security companies for diamond mining operations in Cuango, Angola, responsible for killings, torture, beatings & other abuses, says report, Sep 2006.  Responses from ENDIAMA, ITM Mining, Lazare Kaplan, Lev Leviev Group, Odebrecht.

Burma: Burma Campaign UK says Total has helped to keep in power government that is "killing thousands by denying aid", May 2008.  Response from Total.

Burma: EarthRights Intl. report alleges Total, Chevron, PTTEP complicit in killings and forced labour in Burma, July 2010.  Response from PTTEP; Total response included in Time article.  No response from Chevron.

Colombia: Excerpt of new book alleging bottling plants supplying Coca-Cola are linked with killings of trade unionists, Oct 2008.  Response from Coca-Cola.

Colombia: 60 Minutes (USA) report on Chiquita's ties to armed groups who have massacred thousands of people - interviews Chiquita CEO, paramilitary leader, May 2008.

El Salvador: Video report on recent killing of an anti-mining activist, death threats & violence against others, Aug 2009.  Response from Pacific Rim.

Mozambique: Security guards at Mafambisse sugar plantation, owned by Tongaat Hulett, accused of killing striking worker, Jul 2007.  Response from Tongaat Hulett.

Pakistan: Judicial inquiry reports serious abuses by property developers Bahria Town, Defence Housing Authority, Habib Rafique - alleges forced evictions, killings, Apr 2010.  Responses from Bahria Town, Defence Housing Authority.  No response from Habib Rafiq.

Peru: New film on 2009 killings at Zijin Mining's Rio Blanco mine, Apr 2011.  No responses from Zijin Mining Group, Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, Xiamen Construction & Development (the 3 members of the Zijin Mining Consortium).

Philippines: Reports allege Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) / Xstrata connected with killing of human rights activist Eliezer "Boy" Billanes, Mar 2009.  Response from Xstrata/SMI.

Zimbabwe: Opposition politician Roy Bennett criticises companies for allegedly profiting from killings at Marange diamond fields, Mar 2011.  Responses from Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum, Old Mutual.

Sudan: European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS) report on alleged complicity by oil companies in human rights abuses, including killings, during Sudan's 1997-2003 civil war, Jun 2010.  Responses from Lundin, OMV, Petronas.  No response from Sudapet.

Tanzania: Security guards at Barrick Gold mine accused of wanton violence & killings, preventing families from holding burial services for dead, May 2011.  Response from Barrick Gold.

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Related stories and components

3 October 2011

Colombia: Ensure Justice for Anti-Union Violence

Author: José Miguel Vivanco, Human Rights Watch

Dear Attorney General Morales: I am writing to follow up…regarding the problem of impunity for anti-union violence in Colombia. We are encouraged by the steps the Attorney General’s Office is currently taking…Yet we also believe further measures are...

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26 May 2011

Barrick's Body-snatchers: Wanton killings, criminalization, and degradation continue at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania

Author: Sakura Saunders in Dominion [Canada]

On May 16, over 1,000 people entered a mine in northern Tanzania, desperate to collect whatever gold they could from the modern industrial site that used to be their bread and butter. But instead of providing the displaced artisanal miners with a boost...

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11 March 2011

Bennett slams multi-nationals for “corporate greed, wilful negligence” [Zimbabwe]

Author: The Zimbabwean

Any process of enriching individuals or companies connected to the infamous criminal syndicate that is Zanu (PF) will be nullified once the MDC is in power, MDC-T minister of agriculture designate, Roy Bennett...[said] in Cape Town yesterday... Bennett...

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17 February 2010

Developers crush rights in land grab rush [Pakistan]

Author: Munawer Azeem, Dawn [Pakistan]

At least three leading property developers have allegedly acquired...public and private land in and around the federal committing serious violations of human rights and killing innocent citizens...The revelations have been made in the...

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13 August 2009

[video & transcript] Gold, impunity, violence in El Salvador

Author: The Real News Network

A 37-year-old teacher [Marcelo Rivera], community center founder, and anti-mining activist is found tortured and assassinated in Northern El Salvador [on June 18]. Authorities, despite all evidence...attribute the death to common gang violence. In the...

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10 March 2009

Church urges probe into anti-mining activist slaying [Philippines]

Author: CBCP News [Philippines]

…Eliezer “Boy” Billanes, leader of the Anti-Development Aggression Coalition, was shot dead by unidentified men...yesterday…The murder has outraged Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez who said that the killing is a serious attack on human rights…Billanes’...

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31 December 2008

[PDF] Deadly ventures? Multinational corporations and paramilitaries in Colombia

Author: Olga Martin-Ortega, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of East London [UK]

One of [the Colombian conflict] characteristics is the participation of external actors...The activities and working methods of certain multinational corporations in Colombia have had a direct impact on the development of the conflict in certain areas,...

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5 December 2008

[PDF] Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide

Author: OHCHR, IBLF, UN Global Compact & Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Faculty of Law, Monash University [Australia]

Readers are guided through each of the rights contained in the UN treaties...and given a description of what each right means in general terms and how it may be relevant to a company’s activities...To bring reality to the report, each description of a...

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20 September 2008

To die for [Colombia]

Author: Mark Thomas, Guardian [UK]

Being a trade union organiser in bottling plants used by Coca-Cola in Colombia is a dangerous business - they are prime targets for death squads. Can Coke be held responsible?...Sinaltrainal [Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria de...

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1 June 2008

ESCR-Net Collective Report on Business and Human Rights - 2008

Author: International Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights

ESCR-Net’s Corporate Accountability Working Group is pleased to announce the release of its Collective Report on Business and Human Rights. Presented directly to Members of the 8th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during the first week...

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