tagged w/ Ecuador
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was sworn in for a second term on Monday, reaffirming in a speech his dedication to the country's poor and accusing the media of aiding his critics.Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was sworn in for a second term on Monday,... more
Chevron has quietly withdrawn a key legal claim in U.S. federal court against Ecuador's government over a $27.3 billion environmental liability in the Amazon, casting doubt about the company's public statements that it will not pay for a clean-up and raising questions about the effectiveness of its legal strategy, according to court records and lawyers representing indigenous communities in Ecuador.
Chevron's withdrawal of the claim, which resulted in a dismissal of the case recently by a U.S. federal judge in Manhattan, was the fifth consecutive time since 2007 that U.S. federal courts have failed to accept the company's arguments that Ecuador's government is responsible for the clean-up in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Experts consider the damage caused by Texaco (now Chevron), which operated a large oil concession in Ecuador from 1964 to 1990, to be the world's largest oil-related remediation project.
Chevron withdrew the claim because it feared a decision would interfere with its political campaign in the U.S. to discredit Ecuador's courts, said Steven Donziger, an American who advises the plaintiffs in a separate civil lawsuit filed against Chevron in Ecuador by an estimated 30,000 rainforest residents. The Ecuador civil lawsuit is where the oil giant faces the $27.3 billion damages claim.
"A negative decision by a U.S. court was too great a risk for Chevron's public relations and lobbying campaign, which is based on the illusion that the company does not have to pay damages in Ecuador because of an earlier clean-up when in fact such a clean-up has been proven to be a sham," Donziger said.
"Chevron now has lost every important legal decision in the U.S. and Ecuador for the last three years over environmental damage in Ecuador," added Donziger. "The company's latest decision to bail out of a U.S. court is a telling indication of how Chevron's lawyers actually feel about the merits of their own case."
With no public announcement or filing with securities regulators, Chevron in late July notified U.S. federal judge Leonard B. Sand that it was withdrawing its claim against Ecuador's government that a release received in 1995 immunized it from liability. The claim asserted that a limited environmental remediation by Texaco in the 1990s, which the plaintiffs have claimed was fraudulent, shifted responsibility for any further clean-up to Ecuador's government.
In effect, Chevron is giving up on its strategy to use a U.S. federal court to try to trump an expected adverse decision in the civil case in Ecuador, said Donziger. If Chevron had won before Judge Sand, it could have used the U.S. court decision as a defense to any enforcement action in the U.S. of an expected multi-billion dollar Ecuador judgment. Chevron has announced it will not pay any judgment in Ecuador, even though the company agreed to jurisdiction in the country as a condition of getting the case transferred there from U.S. federal court in 2002.
In the civil lawsuit in Ecuador, which has been ongoing since 2003 and is expected to end later this year, Chevron's primary defense also is that Texaco's purported remediation and release immunizes it from liability. The plaintiffs also assert the release does not apply to their claims, as they never signed off on it.
Chevron's withdrawal of the legal claim over the release from U.S. court means that Ecuador's courts alone will determine the issue. To this point, no court in either the U.S. or Ecuador has accepted Chevron's interpretation of the release, despite multiple rulings dating to 1995.
Donziger characterized Chevron's withdrawal of the legal claim as a "major setback" for the company's prospects.Chevron has quietly withdrawn a key legal claim in U.S. federal court against... more
Despite years of ongoing, critical public health controversies in Colombia and Ecuador over the US-assisted aerial herbicide spraying of coca and poppy crops while trying to reduce illegal cocaine and heroin production, US State Department officials are pursuing that very same spraying strategy.
In fact, last year, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's administration temporarily cast aside the latest of several State Department exhortations to begin massive herbal spraying operations on poppy crops producing heroin there.
Colombian aerosol dusting of a mix of Roundup Ultra, Cosmo-Flux and other plant-penetrating agents began seven years ago. (In 2006 alone, the United Nations reported the spraying of approximately 172,025 hectares of coca crops, producing cocaine. That equals a bit over 664 square miles.)
In the meantime, untold thousands of Colombians and Ecuadorians have become sick from the blended chemical spray. Studies have shown the environmental dangers of inhalation and skin and eye saturation of the floating mist. And critically valuable maize, yucca and plantains have been destroyed in large swaths of the fertile country.
For years, DynCorp International of Fort Worth, Texas, has had the lucrative US multimillion-dollar annual contract for Colombian aerial spraying operations.
The company is being sued in Washington, DC, and US District Court by a class of 3,000 Ecuadorians who claim spray blown over the border from Colombia has sickened them.
"Glyphosate is used all over the world without these kinds of claims," said Gregory Lagana, a DynCorp spokesman. "We spray in Colombia, and there Glyphosate is used extensively. But we don't have any complaints where we spray it and what we do when we spray it. If there are health problems in Ecuador, they are certainly caused by something else." The spray itself, said Lagana, "is prescribed by the governments of Colombia and the United States. Monsanto makes the spray."
Monsanto, the herbicide manufacturer, has from time to time been identified by various Internet sites as the supplier of Roundup Ultra to Colombian spraying operations. But, through spokeswoman Tamara J. Craig Schilling, Monsanto refused to say whether the company is or was a supplier for Colombian spraying. Schilling refused to disclose the differences between regular Roundup and Roundup Ultra. The company claims Roundup is not harmful if instructions on the label are followed. Schilling said a Monsanto official in Mexico referred all such inquiries to the State Department. But, Monsanto also lists an office in Colombia inside its website.
Along with Dow Chemical, Monsanto was one of several US Army suppliers of the infamous Agent Orange, the herbicide used to deforest huge areas of jungle during the Vietnam War. The chemicals were alleged by many in multiple lawsuits to have caused birth defects and cancers among a large population of natives as well as US soldiers and their families.
Despite DynCorp spokesman Lagana's claims that Colombians are not being sickened by the spray, an American Friends service report, as early as 2002, said there were indeed health repercussions in Colombia as well. They cited the Putumayo Health Department report as saying: "Three municipalities targeted by spray campaigns from December 22, 2000, to February 2, 2001, indicated that medical personnel in three local hospitals reported increased visits due to skin problems, gastrointestinal infections, acute respiratory infection, and conjunctivitis following spraying."Despite years of ongoing, critical public health controversies in Colombia and Ecuador... more
U.S. oil company Chevron said Monday that it expects to lose a case which charges the company’s Texaco branch with polluting Ecuador’s rain forest with oil-contaminated water for nearly two decades.
An expert appointed by Ecuador’s courts assessed the damages to the locals’ health and environment to be $27 billion: A sum which Chevron spokesman Don Campbell bluntly told The Wall Street Journal, “We’re not paying and we’re going to fight this for years if not decades into the future.”
It will be the largest award ever in an environmental lawsuit, even if it goes uncollected.
“Chevron intends to fight enforcement by claiming the trial was unfair, in part because Ecuador’s president has publicly supported the plaintiffs,” noted Business Insider’s Erin Geiger Smith.
The Journal reported: “Chevron denies the allegations, arguing that Texaco’s operations in Ecuador met local and international standards, that a $40 million cleanup effort in the 1990s resolved any environmental liability the company had there, and that any remaining problems are the responsibility of Petroecuador, the state-run oil company that took over Texaco’s operations.”U.S. oil company Chevron said Monday that it expects to lose a case which charges the... more
As Largest Environmental Judgment on Record Looms, the Oil Company Reassures Shareholders It Won't Pay
Chevron Corp. (CVS), which expects to be on the losing end of a long-running environmental lawsuit in Ecuador, is turning its attention to fighting the expected multibillion-dollar verdict in the U.S.
The plaintiffs in the case, residents of Ecuador's oil-producing Amazonian rainforest, are seeking to hold Chevron responsible for environmental contamination they say was caused by Texaco, which operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1990 and was bought by Chevron in 2001. An expert appointed by the Ecuadorian court has recommended the judge award the plaintiffs $27 billion in damages from Chevron, which would be the biggest environmental judgment against an oil company to date.
Chevron denies the allegations, arguing that Texaco's operations in Ecuador met local and international standards, that a $40 million cleanup effort in the 1990s resolved any environmental liability the company had there, and that any remaining problems are the responsibility of Petroecuador, the state-run oil company that took over Texaco's operations.
The stakes are high. Damages of $27 billion would represent roughly a tenth of the company's 2008 revenue, and a record-setting judgment could tarnish Chevron's image at a time when it has been trying to establish itself as environmentally friendly.
Chevron says it has given up the prospect of winning the case because the Ecuadorian court system is heavily influenced by President Rafael Correa, who has publicly sided with the plaintiffs. The company says it plans to appeal the case in Ecuador, but has little hope of prevailing. Both sides expect a ruling in the case later this year.
Chevron itself has never operated in Ecuador, and Texaco pulled out in 1992, leaving behind almost no assets for the court to seize in case of a judgment against the company. Therefore the plaintiffs will need to try to enforce any ruling in a country where Chevron does have assets, most likely the U.S.
Chevron has been reassuring shareholders that it doesn't expect to be forced to pay any judgment imposed by Ecuador.
"We're not paying and we're going to fight this for years if not decades into the future," Chevron spokesman Don Campbell said in an interview.
To prevent enforcement of a potential judgment in the U.S., Chevron will likely need to convince a U.S. judge it didn't get a fair trial in Ecuador -- something legal experts say won't be easy. "It's going to have to be pretty conclusive evidence," said Ralph Steinhardt, a law professor at George Washington University.
Complicating the matter for Chevron, after the plaintiffs originally sued Texaco in the U.S., Texaco convinced a U.S. court that the case should be heard in Ecuador, praising Ecuador's judicial system in court filings.As Largest Environmental Judgment on Record Looms, the Oil Company Reassures... more
Last month Chevron was awarded the "Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business Leadership" in "recognition of the company's global public health programs." (And, no, this is not a story from The Onion.) It was first reported by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff. The award, from the Global Business Coalition, was bestowed upon Chevron at a June 24 ceremony in honor of its work "to eradicate HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." In a world where war criminals like Henry Kissinger receive the Nobel Peace Prize and murderous thugs like former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Colombia's Alvaro Uribe are given the U.S. "Presidential Medal of Freedom," perhaps this award should not come as a surprise. Other award recipients included Shell Oil (which just paid $15.5 million to settle a lawsuit over its alleged involvement in the killing of Nigerian playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists), Marathon Oil and Anglo Coal of South Africa. In giving Chevron the award, the GBC asserted Chevron "has long been a leader in the fight for global health." But those who have monitored the company's record for years beg to differ.
"Giving Chevron an award for its fight against malaria is like giving Phillip Morris an award for smoking cessation programs," says Steve Kretzmann, a longtime environmental activist and Executive Director of Oil Change International. "Chevron is doing everything it can to lobby against climate change legislation and produce more oil, which causes climate change. A changing climate will greatly increase the spread and range of malaria globally, and higher rates of HIV in oil producing communities owing to the prevalence of prostitution is well documented."
Judith Chomsky, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which sued Chevron for its involvement in killings and other abuses in the Niger Delta says the awarding of such a "prize to Chevron elevates form over substance," adding, "Outside of photo ops and international scrutiny, where the populations are poor and lacking the ability to effect Chevron's behavior, Chevron operates in total disregard for the health and environmental consequences of its operations." In recognizing Chevron, the GBC cited the company's work in Nigeria. But Chomsky charges that in Nigeria the company has severely damaged the environment and harmed indigenous communities. "The fact that Chevron uses some of its ill-gotten profits for public displays of civic actions does not balance out the greater harm for which it is responsible," she says.
While giving such an award to Chevron is perverse enough on its own, let's remember whom it is that the award is named after. Richard C. Holbrooke is currently the Obama administration's point man on Afghanistan and Pakistan with a substantial portfolio that includes areas of Chevron's current and, likely, future operations. Before becoming Obama's "Af/Pak" envoy, Holbrooke was the president and CEO of GBC, an organization he spent the past decade building. Holbrooke, who cut his teeth working for Henry Kissinger during Vietnam, has, for decades, marched back-and-forth over the golden bridge linking corporations and government. Chevron received the award in large part because it committed $30 million over three years to the GBC-affiliated Global Fund in 2008 while Holbrooke was GBC's president and CEO.
In its press release on the award, Chevron labeled the prize "prestigious" despite the fact that it is the first time it has been presented and was named after Holbrooke after he joined the Obama administration.
It never really changes, does it?Last month Chevron was awarded the "Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business... more
Oil companies are salivating over the supply of black gold beneath Ecuador's rainforest.
The South American country is pledging to keep the oil in the ground -- if the international community provides compensation. Now Germany has taken a leading role in raising the necessary cash.
There are many attributes which make the Yasuni National Park special: IT IS ONE OF THE MOST DIVERSE PLACES ON THE PLANET, it is home to indigenous tribes which hunt and gather in its remote interior, and there's a unique breed of small bat. But the national park also has a geographic curse: It sits atop Ecuador's largest known oil reserve, thought to contain hundreds of millions of barrels.
And this potential fortune threatens its very future. In response, Ecuador has come up with an unusual plan to safeguard the UNESCO biosphere Reserve. The cash-strapped South American country has pledged to leave the oil in the ground forever -- something unheard of among oil nations -- if the international community compensates for some of the lost income.
The scheme, which was first mooted by Ecuadorian President Raphael Correa more than a year ago, got off to a slow start. By the end of the year the country extended its self-imposed deadline, in a last ditch bid to rally international support.
Meanwhile, international oil giants were queuing to exploit the supply of black gold.
But now, all of a sudden, the ball seems to be rolling. Following a two-day visit by the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Fander Falconí to Berlin, Germany had positioned itself at "the forefront of the initative," the Ministry for Economic Cooperation said.
He stressed that Ecuador's idea had caught Berlin's imagination: "It offers a new approach to rainforests and, from the perspective of development politics, it is very promising," Bethe said. "Combining climate protection and fighting poverty will play a growing role in the future."
Ecuador estimates that by leaving the oil untouched, some 410 MILLION TONS of CO2 will be averted. Oil is Ecuador's most important export, generating around a third of its income. With the value of the untapped supply under the Yasuni National Park estimated at some $6 billion, the country argues it has little option but to approach international donors, hat in hand.
Environmentalists welcomed the plan as a way to save Ecuador's rainforest from destruction. Preventing forests from disappearing is a vital element in the fight against climate change as they absorb huge quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Still, doubts lingered about the Ecuador model.
Tobias Riedl from Greenpeace Germany's Forest Campaign warned that the scheme was far from perfect. "It is a double-edged sword. While we welcome moves to save this unique environment, the fact is that ALL RAINFORESTS NEED TO BE SAVED, regardless of whether they lie on valuable natural resources or not.
Greenpeace estimates that €30 billion are needed to secure the future of the rainforests worldwide. And with 80 percent of all ancient forests (including rainforests) worldwide already gone, the clock is ticking. And Ecuador knows it.Oil companies are salivating over the supply of black gold beneath Ecuador's... more
In a combative and sometimes colorful annual meeting, Chevron's CEO and chairman exchanged barbs with activists over pollution in the Amazon rain forest and the company's human rights record, twice scolding speakers who addressed executives.
Chief Executive David O'Reilly told one group that its report on Chevron's policies "deserves the trash can."
The nation's second-largest oil company is awaiting a verdict from a judge in Ecuador that could come with a $27 billion price tag, though any such decision would certainly draw an appeal.
Hundreds of protesters rallied outside, at one point blocking the entrance.
Confrontations outside and inside the company headquarters did not change the outcome of three key shareholder proposals, but one of them did garner more support than it had received in the past.
At the core of the protests was the suit in Ecuador. It claims that Texaco, which Chevron bought in 2001, poisoned large swaths of the rain forest by dumping billions of gallons of oil waste, causing cancers and birth defects.
Chevron says Texaco spent $40 million on environmental cleanup there and had been cleared of liability by the Ecuadorean government in power at the time. Chevron said the state oil company PetroEcuador continued to pollute the region after Texaco had left.
A proposal seeking a more detailed human rights policy from Chevron got 28 percent of the vote, which was in line with the level of support from previous years.
A separate proposal for a report on Chevron's criteria for investing or operating in countries with questionable human rights records took 26 percent of the vote. Another measure focused on how Chevron assesses the environmental laws in other countries got less than 7 percent.
In those two areas, similar proposals in the past have never received more than 10 percent of the vote.
When one speaker took the microphone to talk about a report by environmental organizations titled "The True Cost of Chevron," O'Reilly called it "insulting to our employees and I think it deserves the trash can."
The report cites Chevron for the destruction of communities, environmental damage and political oppression.
Chevron's overall finances have taken a hit in recent months as the price of oil and natural gas plunged. Chevron's net income in the first quarter fell 64 percent to $1.84 billion, while sales fell 45 percent to $36.1 billion.
Like many other major corporations, a say-on-pay proposal was also brought up for a vote. The nonbinding advisory proposal was rejected with 42 percent of the vote.
A proposal seeking more clarity on Chevron's plans to help curb climate change and lower its own greenhouse gases was withdrawn at the last minute. The burning of fossil fuels is cited by researchers as a reason for climate change.
end of excerptIn a combative and sometimes colorful annual meeting, Chevron's CEO and chairman... more
Chevron shocked the public relations and legal worlds Sunday by allowing a relatively unknown in-house lawyer to stumble through an interview trying to defend the company on 60 Minutes against charges that it is responsible for the world's largest oil contamination in Ecuador, where it faces a $27 billion liability.
The spokesperson, Sylvia Garrigo, did not disappoint the company's detractors – she quickly made the bizarre claim that trace amounts of oil in the makeup on her face was no more harmful that the toxic sludge filmed by 60 Minutes in hundreds of unlined waste pits Texaco built in Ecuador's rainforest that are still polluting soils and groundwater, according to an independent court expert.
One viewer who posted comments on the internet compared Garrigo's performance to satirical appearances by Dan Akroyd on Saturday Night Live. Another found it shocking that Chevron did not put forth David O'Reilly, the company's CEO, to defend the company in what 60 Minutes called the largest environmental legal case ever.
Sadly for Chevron, Garrigo's performance had nothing to do with satire.
"Chevron's effort to duck, dodge, bob and weave by not making available a senior level executive such as the CEO, Board Member or officer is the public relations equivalent of a criminal defendant on trial for a heinous crime not taking the witness stand in their own defense – it communicates to everyone that you must be guilty," said Chris Lehane, a political and media consultant and former White House lawyer under the Clinton Administration.
"This has to be one of the more shocking and sickening performances by a corporate spokesperson in the history of journalism," said Drew_6583, in a typical online posting on the 60 Minutes website. "The moment could not have been more important for the company and they blew it by not putting forth their CEO."
Garrigo, who spoke to CBS correspondent Scott Pelley from a corporate office in the U.S., denied that Chevron had found toxins in the environment despite visual images of oil in streams next to abandoned company well sites. Her claim directly contradicts laboratory reports Chevron has submitted as evidence in the trial, which are available as public records.
The highlight of the Garrigo interview – or lowlight, depending on one's perspective – was when CBS asked her about the 916 toxic waste pits that Texaco abandoned in the jungle over an area roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island. Garrigo apparently was trying to downplay the danger of the oil in the pits by comparing them to oil in her own makeup.
The only problem is that the trial evidence shows the pits contain contaminants and carcinogens up to thousands of times higher than norms allow. Many of the pits are the size of Olympic-sized swimming pools and are filled with toxic sludge, as shocking visuals in the 60 Minutes broadcast made evident.
"I have make-up on, and that's naturally occurring oil on my face," Garrigo told Pelley. "Doesn't mean that I'm going to get sick from it."
Julio Prieto, a lawyer for the Amazonian communities, said Garrigo "would not be able to survive one hour if she plastered benzene and TPHs on her face at levels being found in Texaco's waste pits in Ecuador."
Garrigo's title at Chevron is manager of global issues and policy, but there is no evidence she has meaningful litigation or public relations experience. Her biography is not listed on the company's website and no press release was issued when she was hired for her current job.
Amazon Defense Coalition
4 May 2009 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Video plays at the link.
end of excerpt.Chevron shocked the public relations and legal worlds Sunday by allowing a relatively... more
The A/H1N1 flu outbreak is leading to a potential diplomatic row between China and Mexico, as Chinese health authorities round up and quarantine scores of Mexicans -- only one of whom is thus far reported to be sick -- as they fly in on business and holiday trips.
Mexico's foreign minister said Mexican citizens with no signs of infection had been isolated in "unacceptable conditions" in China. Patricia Espinosa told a news conference Saturday that such measures were "discriminatory and ungrounded" and that the government is advising Mexicans to stay away from China.
She also criticized four Latin American countries -- Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Cuba -- for suspending flights coming from Mexico against the recommendations of the World Health Organization.
More than 70 Mexicans are in isolation around China, according to Mexican officials, and that number is rising as Mexican travelers call in to their embassy to report their plight.
China has been rounding up all travelers aboard an AeroMexico flight from Mexico that arrived on Thursday in Shanghai with a 25-year-old Mexican man now ill with human swine flu in Hong Kong.
That man is the only known Mexican sufferer in China to date. However, Mexicans on other flights say they have been singled out for harsh treatment.
Gustavo Carrillo, a 36-year-old general manager of a Mexican technology company in China who lives in Beijing with his wife and three sons, was taken off his Continental Airlines plane on Saturday and rushed into quarantine at a Beijing hotel. He had traveled to the U.S. from China on a business trip and hadn't visited Mexico.
Mr. Carrillo said health officials took the temperatures of other passengers after the plane landed, but didn't check his after they saw his Mexican passport. Instead, they led him down the aisle past gawking passengers. "It was embarrassing and humiliating," he said. "It's just pure discrimination."The A/H1N1 flu outbreak is leading to a potential diplomatic row between China and... more
With more than 50 percent of the vote, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa was reelected on Sunday, the first time in 30 years that a president in Ecuador has been elected without a runoff.
Correa has been openly critical of the Washington Consensus, has rejected the IMF World Bank model of economic development, and the free trade agreements pushed by the United States for the last couple of decades. The Real News Network brings us this report on Correa's reelection.With more than 50 percent of the vote, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa was... more
On February 18, 2009, the Ecuadorian Congress approved a new Law on Food Sovereignty, which, among other important points, declared the country "free of transgenic crops and seeds." However, in spite of vocal popular opposition, the legislation left the door open to approvals of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in "exceptional" cases. Now, President Rafael Correa has proposed several changes to the legislation in what is known in Ecuador as a partial-veto and sent it back to the Congress. The president's changes dangerously weaken the law and open the door to Terminator seeds.
Terminator technology is designed to make "suicide seeds," genetically engineered to be sterile in the second generation. The technology has been widely rejected around the world by farmers' movements, governments, research institutions and UN agencies as dangerous, immoral and undesirable.
Alarmed by President Correa's proposals, civil society is now calling on him to drop his amendments and to explicitly ban Terminator technology.
end of excerpt
Just what are these country's leaders being promised in return for being so morally bankrupt? Terminator technology is unproven and a direct threat to biodiversity! I simply cannot believe this. Chevron/Texaco destroys the Ecuadorian rainforest with toxic sludge, and now this president wants to destroy biodiversity with these seeds? Greed will be the end of us all.On February 18, 2009, the Ecuadorian Congress approved a new Law on Food Sovereignty,... more
Join us at 6:30 PM on April 29th for the San Francisco Film Festival screening of Joe Berlinger's film "Crude", a hard-hitting documentary about the environmental case against Chevron in Ecuador.
The film will be shown at the Kabuki Sundance Theater, 1881 Post St. (at Filmore), followed by a no-host bar reception with Amazon Watch and special guests.
Tickets are available for $12.50 at the San Francisco International Film Festival website under Buy Tickets Now, or you can order by phone at 925-866-9559, Mon - Fri, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
SPACE IS LIMITED. To confirm your attendance at the after-party, please RSVP to: Elisa Bravo at rsvp[at]amazonwatch.org
Just a suggestion: It would be great to see someone from Current TV covering this. I wish I could go.Join us at 6:30 PM on April 29th for the San Francisco Film Festival screening of Joe... more
Hmm, now why would they try to block this resolution if they are innocent? What is it about corporations like this and their utter contempt for Democracy?Hmm, now why would they try to block this resolution if they are innocent? What is it... more
It just keeps getting deeper and deeper for Chevron. This is a crime of such immense proportions not only against the people of the Ecuadorian Amazon, but the environment and all of the ecosystems that thrived there. The quintessential example of corporate greed, arrogance, and apathy. I say, it's time to make an example for all.It just keeps getting deeper and deeper for Chevron. This is a crime of such immense... more
It's getting hot as crunch time comes for Chevron to pay for their massive environmental destruction in Ecuador and the lives of the indigenous people who live there. According to this report the decision should come down sometime later this year. You can be assured that I will be keeping up with this. This needs to set a precedent for other companies that willfully destroy the environment that they will pay for it. I think Chevron's lawyers already know that will happen in this case.It's getting hot as crunch time comes for Chevron to pay for their massive... more
The Amazon Defense Coalition reports that oil is still visible to the naked eye in places where Chevron claimed it was remediated. Their plea to delay the trial was denied. I can only hope the next step is to see them pay, although no amount of money can make up for the environmental devastation they have caused and the lives they have ruined. However, this is good news to go forward with.The Amazon Defense Coalition reports that oil is still visible to the naked eye in... more
he oil spill has severe affects on the health of indigenous communities of Rio COCA.
the oil spill caused by a collapse in the OCP pipeline, deeply worsens the health of over 40 indigenous communities in the ancestral territories lie algothe Coca River and the Napo River.
Eye witness reports from the southern Amazon refer to abundant severe health problems, especially women and children. Many have been hopitalized in Coca with dizziness, vomiting, stomach pains, and intoxication.
the measures taken to mitigate and mediate the environmental effect of the spill have been been insufficient according to the judgement of oil sector personnel. Buoyes placed to retain the expansion of the spill have had no effect in conserving the water quality, which is fundamental for human consumption, crop irrigation and livestock / animal consumption: the environmental damages will be irreversible and merit an comprehensive response by the Government.
The consequences have already been observed hundreds of km from the pipeline break: in the area of the Peñacocha community, Provence of Sucumbios, the Shushufindi canton (district) some 350 KM from Santa Rosa (where pipeline broke). In the Orellana Provence, some 500KM downriver reports large numbers of fish, Boa constrictors, and bagres (giant catfish). Children in the area show signs of strong stomach pains and headaches, and other health related issues. This testimony was given by FCKUNAE, (federation of kichwa communities, union of natives of the Ecuadorian amazon) that live in the Peruvian border. Communities in the districts of Sacha, Orellana, Aguarico have been effected the strongest by the contamination. Land used for agriculture, hunting and fishing have been severely contaminated - "the earth is blacken by the petroleum from the spill"
In previous spill the consequences, the delicate state of health in the affected zones, have been shown for years. Children and Adults that have bathed in the contaminated rivers have suffered skin disorders and blindness. These cases have been register in the communities of San Jose del COCA, yet aid has only arrived in urban areas. A thin layer of petroleum in the river has been verified via a telephone conversation with a functionary of the Orellana Provence Health administration.
Given the events CONAIE urges a declaration of a state of emergency in the effected communities, and in this context urge an immediate attention in health material for all the effected. Also, we demand an independent provider of information for the country relative to the scope of the spill as well as the measures that will be implemented in prevention, reparation and legal indemnification
Quito March 3, 2009
Communique CONAIEhe oil spill has severe affects on the health of indigenous communities of Rio COCA.... more