(…) “Colombia should be the Clinton Foundation’s best case study. Ground zero for the drug wars of the 1980s and 90s, racked by uneven development and low-intensity conflict for half a century, Colombia has received significant foundation money and attention. Bill and Hillary Clinton have visited the country often and enjoy close relationships with members of Colombia’s ruling party.
Colombia has also been home to the vast oil and natural gas holdings of one of the Clinton Foundation’s largest individual donors, Canadian financier Frank Giustra. In short, conditions were right for Colombia to be the shining example of what the Clinton Foundation’s philanthropy can accomplish in the world, and what makes Hillary so proud of its efforts.
The American Media Institute, a nonprofit news service based in Alexandria, Virginia, partnered with Fusion to send us to Colombia to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s impact. We interviewed more than 50 people in Colombia and found ground realities that contrasted, often starkly, with the nonprofit’s claims about its good work.
Many of the Colombian “success stories” touted on the foundation’s website were critical about the foundation’s effect on their lives. Many labor leaders and progressive activists say foundation programs caused environmental harm, displaced indigenous people, and helped concentrate a larger share of Colombia’s energy and mining resources in the hands of Giustra, who was involved in a now-bankrupt oil company that worked closely with the Clinton Foundation and which used the Colombian military and a surveillance program to smash a strike by its workers.
They paint a picture that belies the progressive principles on which the Clintons have based their political dynasty and philanthropy, embodied in the Clinton Foundation’s promotional copy: “Everyone deserves a chance to succeed.” (Read more: The American Media Institute/Fusion, 10/18/2016)