Cartoonist Carlos Latuff fights big oil for a small town in Egypt

Farah Montasser, Monday 5 Sep 2011

Political cartoonist Carlos Latuff releases his latest cartoon, calling out to the Egyptians of Tahrir to take immediate action to save Edko village from BP

Edko village by Latuff

At dawn today, Monday 5 September, Carlos Latuff releases his latest cartoon, questioning environmentalists and local villagers regarding multinational petrol company British Petroleum's (BP) planned activities in Edko, a poor village on the North Coast of Egypt. 

With his piece, Latuff protests against the contamination caused by giant petrol companies, including BP, which he directly attacks in his cartoon.

"Since the residents are of a poor village, far from the capital, maybe their problem with BP is not getting proper coverage," Latuff tells Ahram Online, addressing the importance of tackling pollution issues in Egypt. "Damages caused to communities by multinational companies is something I am very aware of," he says.

"Edko villagers are Egyptians and I believe their struggle must be supported by Egyptians," he comments calling for the united Egyptian street front to stand up for the rights of one of the poor villages of Egypt. Latuff dedicates his latest piece to Edko villagers saying, "Dear Edko villagers, I am at your service with my art." As for the rest of the Egyptian, Latuff calls on your immediate action to save the village. 

Last year, in July 2010, BP signed an agreement with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation to develop the significant hydrocarbon resources in the North Coast and West Mediterranean Deepwater concessions, according to the company's announcement.

Production from the West Nile Delta, according to BP, is projected to reach up to one billion cubic feet per day, providing a major new source of gas for the domestic market in Egypt. The first phase will develop an estimated five trillion cubic feet of gas and associated condonsate through subsea development of five offshore fields into a new purpose-built onshore gas plant on Egypt's Mediterranean coast. The first gas pipeline is expected in late 2014.

Latuff is well-known not only for using his artwork as his political voice, but also for using it to fight for the environment. He has even attacked beverage giant, Coca Cola, for its projects in a village in India.

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