Human rights decade

If the 1990s have been the "Decade of the Environment" as far as the petroleum industry is concerned, then the next decade is likely to be the "Decade of Human Rights."Just as the Decade of the Environment kicked off with a low point for industry-the Exxon Valdez spill-the Decade of Human Rights could start with its own Exxon Valdez equivalent: the horrific realization of a threat by Colombian Indians, the U'wa, to commit mass suicide if Occidental Petroleum Corp. drills a wildcat well on what the U'wa deem to be their ancestral lands. This has become an international cause celebre that has blocked the project for more than 2 years (OGJ, June 9, 1997, p. 36). Oxy recently received a...

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