Daily Archives: June 9, 2009

Shell Pays Up In Nigerian Human Rights & Ken Saro-Wiwa Execution Case

In the lawsuit, the families of the Ogoni nine alleged Shell conspired with the military government to capture and hang the men. Shell was also accused of a series of other alleged human rights violations, including working with the army to bring about killings and torture of Ogoni ­protesters.

The company was alleged to have provided the Nigerian army with vehicles, patrol boats and ammunition, and to have helped plan raids and terror campaigns against villages.

Supporters of the legal action said the fact that Shell had walked away from the trial suggested the company had been anxious about the evidence that would have been presented had it gone ahead. Stephen Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, said Shell “knew the case was overwhelming against them, so they bought their way out of a trial”…

… from the Guardian story Shell pays out $15.5m over Saro-Wiwa killing

Shell To Pay US$15.5 Million Over Nigerian Government Execution Of Nine Activists

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Considering that Shell makes about US$3 million dollars profit per hour – every hour of every day – we’d say they got off pretty lightly for their environmental rape of Nigeria and (denied) complicity in the hangings of nine innocent Nigerians who wanted clean air, water and soil for their children.

Why did Shell settle at the last moment before the trial was due to begin in New York City?

Because going to trial would have exposed the truth about Shell in Nigeria to the whole world. US$15.5 million is pocket change to make risk go away.

What is the Lesson for Barbados Farmers Coping With Shell Oil’s Barbados Pipeline Spills?

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Shell Oil spill since his election.

Since his election, Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe (left) is suddenly silent on Shell Oil spill.

Perhaps the lesson in Barbados should be to sue the hell out of Shell. After 15 years of Shell ducking and dodging their responsibility, the Shell Barbados pipeline spill case needs to go to court.

We’d advise the Barbados Government to charge Shell with environmental offenses of failing to keep records, spilling petroleum and failing to clean up the spill – except that Barbados has no environmental legislation. That’s right folks – we don’t even have a law that requires Shell Oil to check their pipes and tanks every day for leaks.

Welcome to Barbados: where we have no hazardous materials standards and companies can pollute at will without worrying about the consequences.

How much did Shell Oil “donate” to the “political campaigns” of the DLP and BLP?

Oh, sorry… no legal requirement for anyone to reveal that, either!

Further Reading

Wall Street Journal: Shell Settles Nigeria Case

Times Online: Shell agrees $15.5m settlement over death of Saro-Wiwa and eight others

BFP: Shell Oil Announces Pipeline Spill A Non-Issue – Barbados News Media & Government Ask Zero Questions Of Company Hired To “Ensure Buy-In” To Shell Strategies

BFP: Shell Oil Pollutes And Runs In Barbados. After 15 Years Government Has The Answer: Committee Of Politicians


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Nigeria, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Impotent and Frustrated Barbados Auditor General Rages Against The Political Machine – And Bajan Culture

UPDATED: March 13, 2010

Folks, read what the Auditor General had to say last June and then ask yourself: Has anything changed since then? Has anyone been charged?

Original article as published June 9, 2009…

“There is general consensus that something has to be done. How we go forward from here, I am not too sure that we know how to go forward. But we concede that something has to be done. It just cannot keep going on like this all the time

… Barbados Auditor General Leigh Trotman talks about zero accountability for corrupt and incompetent government officials in The Nation article Trio’s Call

Auditor General Leigh Trotman’s Unprecedented Media Statements Reveal His Disgust For Two Corrupt Barbados Governments

Barbados has a serious and deep-rooted problem with corruption that is eating away at the health of our society and polluting the thinking and behaviour of coming generations. Rather than fighting this trend, our leaders empower corrupt individuals through refusing to hold them accountable. In a culture of corruption where sharing the fatted calf is the expected prize of an election victory, all parties are frightened to throw the first stone.

Both the current DLP Thompson administration and the past Arthur/Mottley government have done everything they can to shield corrupt and incompetent individuals in government from being held accountable. According to the current Auditor General’s report, government officials now have so little fear of the Auditor General that they often don’t bother to respond at all to official demands for documentation and records. (eg: Auditor General’s Report 2008, reference 3.157 page 79) Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption