Over three decades of oil drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Chevron dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into pristine rainforest.
The company owes people living in the Amazon $9.5 billion — but has repeatedly refused to pay up, using its immense wealth and corporate influence to wriggle out of all responsibility. Now, we finally have a chance to make Chevron face justice.
Indigenous and farmer communities are taking their fight to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a body that can legally prosecute individuals and corporations for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
While the international community is listening, it’s time to make Chevron pay once and for all. This is a true David and Goliath battle, and the Ecuadorians need all the international support they can get.
Texaco (now owned by Chevron) deliberately spilled billions of gallons of toxic waste into Ecuador’s pristine rainforest. Tens of thousands of people have suffered the consequences. The lawsuit filed with the ICC alleges that through systemic harm inflicted over decades, Chevron’s actions have effectively wiped out two ethnic groups completely.
This is corporate power at its worst. The company thinks it can get away scot-free, because the area is remote and the community cannot afford to match Chevron’s army of ruthless corporate lawyers. It’s repeatedly refused to pay huge damages demanded by Ecuador’s courts, even removing all its assets from the country to avoid payment.
Ecuador and the 80 Amazon-dwelling communities directly affected have been trying to bring Chevron to justice for years. But John Watson, the company’s CEO, has promised them a “lifetime of litigation” saying he would fight the case “until hell freezes over and then fight it out on the ice. This is pure bullying — by one of the world’s richest corporations — of people who have lost everything.
The toxic oil waste the company knowingly dumped in the Lago Agrio region between 1964 and 1992 has devastated thousands of lives. But Chevron thinks it’s above the law. It thinks it can get away with killing people, poisoning the rainforest, and ignoring court rulings — but these are crimes against humanity.
While the case is before the ICC, Chevron’s bosses are under massive pressure to comply and pay Ecuadorians once and for all. Now is the time to speak up.
Thanks for standing with the people of the Amazon,
Paul, Ledys, Angus, and the rest of the SumOfUs team
Rainforest Communities Seek Criminal Investigation of Chevron CEO Watson Before International Court, AmazonWatch, October 23 2014