“My philosophy is to make money.”—Rex Tillerson
ON JANUARY 1, REX TILLERSON RETIRED FROM OIL GIANT EXXON MOBIL after 41 years, the last 10 as CEO and chairman of the board. When he appears in January before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be considered for U.S. Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil will be preparing to appear before a jury at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, just blocks away. There, the company will face allegations that security forces under its employ engaged in serious human rights abuses, including murder, torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, battery, assault, burning, arbitrary arrest, detention and false imprisonment. The complaint specifically names Rex Tillerson.
Among the plaintiffs, all of whom use aliases out of fear for their lives, is “John Doe II.” According to the complaint, in August 2000, soldiers working for Exxon Mobil beat and tortured him “using electricity all over his body, includ[ing] his genitals.” After approximately three months, the “soldiers took off his blindfold, took him outside the building where he had been detained and showed him a pit where there was a large pile of human heads. The soldiers threatened to kill him and add his head to the pile.” He was ultimately released, only to have the soldiers return later to burn down his house.
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