Friday, 15 May 2009

Chevron Toxico

Yesterday, I unwittingly ventured into the lion's den of one of my most reviled multinational corporations - Chevron Texaco - when I attended a media seminar at Westferry Circus in London. If I'd known where I was going I would have taken with me some images of the people whose lives they've ruined over the years and doorstepped the feckless, arrogant and morally corrupt spawn of Satan, confronting them with the fruit of their labour - the destruction of vast swathes of the Amazon rainforest and the lives of those who live off the land.

Last year I spent some time in Ecuador where I learned about the dire situation of the indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon. For 28 years Chevron, who drilled for oil in Ecuador, created toxic open oil pits and dumped billions of gallons of waste byproducts into the rainforest, an oil disaster that is commonly referred to as the 'Rainforest Chernobyl'. The results have been devastating to the local ecosystem and to the thousands of people whose lives depend upon the rainforest. Well over a thousand cases of cancer have been attributed to the effects of contamination and there has been a distinct increase in the number of pregnancies ending in miscarriage.

But the indigenous tribespeople of the Ecuadorian Amazon are fighting back and taking Chevron to court with a class action lawsuit in the States, not that the Top Ten Forbes Listed company like it one bit. One lobbyist working on behalf of Chevron famously remarked “The ultimate issue here is Ecuador has mistreated a U.S. company. We can’t let little countries screw around with big companies like this-companies that have made big investments around the world.”

These words defy belief. How dare anybody question the activities of one of the largest, most profitable companies in the world. How dare they dispure their right to rampage across the face of the Earth willy nilly, doing as they please, upsetting who they want, all in pursuit of a bit of green. Year after year, Chevron continue their valiant effort to shirk responsibility for their despicable actions in the Amazon, pouring money into fighting the ever present legal challenge.

But the people of the land remain unbowed, fighting them every step of the way, determined to bring justice to the once pristine rainforest and have Chevron cough up the much needed reparations money so they can rebuild their lives and restore the Amazon to its former glory.

Read in more depth at the ChevronToxico campaign group website.

1 comment:

  1. I really hope justice will be served and Chevron will have to pay for what it did to those poor people. Drinking water is contaminated, people are dying of cancer and skin diseases, their lives are destroyed. Denying, downplaying and manipulating- that’s all Chevron can do. Instead of wasting money fighting in courts, they should take responsibility and clean up that mess.
    Here’s an interesting blog about the contamination: