A continent under the dirty hands of Chevron

Articulación continental de Movimientos Sociales hacia el ALBA
2013-10-08 17:00:00

The pitch-covered hand of the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, symbolizes the environmental disaster that was brought about in Amazonia by Texaco-Chevron, a multinational that has been denounced for over twenty years by people’s movements in this country.


As the Continental Network of Social Movements towards ALBA (Articulación Continental de Movimientos Sociales hacia el ALBA), we have joined the campaign #TheDirtyHandofChevron (#LaManoSuciaDeChevron) against the U.S. oil company which was sentenced in 2012 by Ecuadorian courts to pay an indemnity of 19 billion dollars for damage to the flora, fauna, air, water and the health of 30 thousand members of five indigenous nationalities as well as campesinos from the provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana. In spite of being declared guilty by the Ecuadorian Court of Justice, the U.S. company refuses to pay up.


We call on people’s movements around the continent to boycott Chevron products, as a rejection of the attempt of the oil company to evade its responsibility for the oil contamination in the Amazon basin.


Since 1993, the people of Ecuador have been denouncing the environmental disaster resulting from the oil company's operations in their territory. In that year, a group of citizens lodged a lawsuit in New York, in the name of some 30.000 inhabitants of the zone, for the most part indigenous people, for contamination and ill effects on their health. During the 1990s, Chevron attempted to block the trial, arguing that the lawsuit should have been lodged in Ecuador, assuming that the Ecuadorian court might be easier to manipulate. Finally the company achieved its end and the New York judge declined to hear the case, but said that Chevron should accept the verdict of the Ecuadorian court; so a new suit was filed in Lago Agrio.


In 2011 and 2012, after nearly two decades of litigation, the verdict from Lago Agrio was that the company should pay out some 19 billion dollars for a cleanup of the affected area and to provide health services and clean water to the inhabitants. But the multinational has refused to comply and has launched further legal actions in an attempt to block the application of the sentence, along with a campaign to discredit the government, the court, the plaintiffs and their lawyers.


There are about one thousand waste pits in Ecuador that Texaco, a company that in 2001 merged with Chevron, had left open or badly sealed. During the 26 years of their exploitation of oil in the Amazon forest, it is estimated that they dumped some 18 billion gallons of water contaminated with oil into waste pits, that continues to seep into the ground or overspills during rainstorms, in addition to another 17 million gallons of oil spilled in accidents.


Our land, rivers and streams have been exposed to toxic products, contaminating the water that we used for our everyday lives, devastating forest life and negatively affecting our agriculture and livestock.


Boycot Chevron! Enough of looting!

Sovereignty for our territories!

Self-determination for our peoples!

Send the multinationals packing out of our Continent!



Articulación continental de Movimientos Sociales hacia el ALBA