It has been 15 years since a group of Ecuadorian indigenous people filed a lawsuit against Texaco for oil contamination, resulting from 26 years of substandard oil extraction efforts. In those years, Texaco — acquired by Chevron in 2001 — consistently has denied responsibility, delayed justice, and defamed the Ecuadorian people who need help the most. In other words, the oil giant has acted like most people expect Big Oil companies to act — like bullies — instead of the good corporate citizens that Chevron’s advertising campaigns like to portray.
Meanwhile, the Ecuadorians living in Texaco’s former dumping ground suffer every day. Texaco released over 18 billion gallons of oil and toxic water into the rainforest from 1964 to 1990. Experts indicate that over 1,000 people have died from cancer. Spontaneous abortions are two to three times more likely to occur in the concession area than in other parts of Ecuador. It’s almost impossible to find a family not touched by the illnesses.
Until you see the extent of the contamination, it is hard to believe. Almost 1,000 pits the size of large swimming pools scar a... Read more