Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has closed the inquiry into the directors of Canadian oil company Kappa Resources for conspiring with paramilitaries in central Colombia, newspaper El Espectador reported Thursday.
According to the prosecuters, the investigation — which was opened in 2009 — uncovered no facts with which to prosecute the directors of Kappa.
Instead. the Prosecutor General’s Office decided to open an investigation into the alleged false accusations of the family that claims to have been displaced.
The accusing Murillo family said in 2001 that Kappa sponsored a paramilitary group to violently displace them from the farm La Estrella, after efforts encouraging them to sell part of their land failed. Petroleum had been discovered on the farm in El Guamo, Tolima.
The family say that on February 8, 2001, a group of the Tolima block of the AUC arrived at and fired on their home.
After this, Arcadio Murillo reported the alleged links between Kappa and the AUC. Following the demobilization of the AUC, several members of the Tolima Block confessed to the Prosecutor General’s Office that they took part in the displacement and gave details of links with the directors of the oil company.
Despite the report by Arcadio and the testimonies of the paramilitaries, the Prosecutor General’s Office found inconsistencies and contradictions which caused doubts.
An analysis of the evidence found that the claimants had provided false testimony, that the oil company had no need to displace the family as it already owned the land, and that the confessions of the paramilitaries were not sufficient or reliable.
Furthermore, the Prosecutor General’s Office is now collecting documents to investigate two brothers of the Murillo family who made the accusation, for perjury and false testimony.
It concluded that while the fact that the Murillo family had been victimized could not be ignored, the petroleum company could not be held responsible.
On the Murillo family website it is claimed that the land was sold as a result of pressure and misinformation.
In addition, they claim Kappa representative Luz Amparo Briceño offered money to certain member of the Murillo family to encourage other resistant members to agree to the sale of the land.
They also say that the shooting of the house left one of the sibling “an invalid” and another lost movement in one arm.