As we have mentioned corruption is rampant on both sides of the border, here is an exert from Abel Danger on the Clinton Foundation and its connection to BC and an oil company formerly known as Pacific Rubiales Energy.
"The Clintons' "poison dwarf"
The story of the oil and gas exploration company Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., and its highly profitable Colombian adventure, centers on a graying, five-foot-tall Canadian investor named Frank Giustra. He made his first fortune in Vancouver brokerage circles where Adrian du Plessis, a former stock-fraud investigator, says that Giustra was known as the "Poison Dwarf" – a reference to Giustra's short build and Giustra's reputed penchant for deals that du Plessis said were toxic to his buyers but profitable to him. (After his public divestment from Pacific Rubiales, the company went bankrupt and changed names.) Giustra co-founded Lionsgate Films [in fact, interloper Frank Giustra hijacked the original company LionsGate from co-founder Stephen Shellen via treacherous co-founder John A. Hardy, a Vancouver lawyer, starting in 1995], wrote the lyrics for a song by Canadian singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan [don't give up your day job as a mobster, Frankie], and recently signed on as an executive producer of the upcoming Blade Runner sequel.
Giustra's relationship with the Clintons began in January 2005, when Bill Clinton spoke at a Giustra-organized fundraiser for Asian tsunami victims. The pair hit it off; later that year, Giustra's private jet took Clinton to South America to deliver four speeches, where the former president collected some $800,000. Giustra also organized a 60th birthday bash for Bill Clinton, booking Jon Bon Jovi and others for the event, according to The New York Times.
Clinton brought to the friendship three things that Giustra lacked: prestige, charisma, and global contacts with heads of state in resource-rich countries. The Clinton Foundation disputes this characterization of the former president's relationship with Giustra, saying Fusion pointed "to no actual contacts [Giustra] made through President Clinton." Many of the governments with whom they partnered are not known for the sort of transparency, good governance, and democracy that Bill and Hillary Clinton routinely call for when discussing American foreign policy.
In September 2005, Giustra and Clinton flew to Kazakhstan together to meet the Central Asian nation's president. Shortly thereafter, Giustra secured a lucrative concession to mine Kazakh uranium, despite his company's lack of experience with the radioactive ore. Within months of securing the Kazakh mining deal, Giustra had donated more than $31 million in all. The Clinton Foundation disputes any suggestion that the former president helped Giustra secure the Kazakh mining deal, citing an online Forbes column that suggested "Giustra, the eminently successful deal maker," had worked out the deal "long before Clinton's arrival."
In 2007, while Hillary Clinton was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president, Giustra pledged to give $100 million to the Clinton Foundation in a New York press conference. More Giustra-connected pledges followed, including $4.4 million from Pacific Rubiales (called Petro Rubiales Energy Corp. in foundation filings) and the firm's other financial backers, according to documents surfaced by investigative reporters at the International Business Times. The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat global poverty was born.
"The resource sector is prepared to step up and take the initiative off the drawing board and turn it into a reality for developing countries around the world," Giustra said.
Although initial details on the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative were sparse in their rollout press conference, the two men knew exactly where they wanted to start spending. They explained their vision together to a Canadian TV outlet in 2007. Clinton leaned back in his chair, relaxed as usual, reeling off charity buzzwords: "broadly-shared prosperity," "sustainable growth," "scalability." Giustra, with his trademark Caesar hairstyle, spoke quietly, rarely changing his facial expression.
"We're going to begin work in Colombia, where the government has already invited us to come," Clinton said.
The interviewer turned to Giustra. Why Colombia?
"We have several interests there in mining and oil and gas," said Giustra in a soft monotone. "I love the people of that country." At least in this case, the foundation's priorities seemed to march in step with the investment interests of its major donors.
Giustra's firm purchased Colombian land from middlemen who had bought it from poor campesino indigenous farmers, according to government data provided to Sen. Jesus Alberto Castilla Salazar, the first campesino ever elected to the Colombian senate. Some of the land on which Pacific Rubiales is drilling appears to have been received from known drug traffickers, whose names appear on the "Clinton List" – a blacklist of mostly Colombian drug-connected businesses and associates, created under President Clinton in 1995 to bar U.S. entities from doing business with drug traffickers [excepting the Clinton syndicate of Mena, Arkansas infamy – right, Willie?].
One of the individuals Pacific Rubiales bought land from was Miguel de los Santos Peña Torres, whom the U.S. Treasury Department connects to a drug operation headed by two thugs whose evocative nicknames translate as "The Crazy One" and "The Knife." Peña Torres was added to the Clinton List in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state – around the time that Giustra was buying land from him. The Hillary Clinton campaign did not respond to Fusion's requests for comment.
Castilla, the Colombian senator, told us that Pacific Rubiales used front companies (including something called Major International Oil S.A.) to buy up blocks of land and later lump them together – a conscious effort, he said, to skirt Colombian laws that prohibit single ownership of estates larger than 3,000 acres.
"This has created a grave situation, and they took control of land that was intended for peasants," Castilla said. "Land is at the heart of the conflict in this country and it's very important that small farmers have land. The government has moved in another direction."
The full story can be seen here,