Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chevron Resists Justice

Article: The Really Long Arm of American Justice. Business Week (7/18/2011-7/24/2011)

MAJIA HERE: The very title of this article points to the propaganda machine

Chevron is attempting to escape a ruling that would require it to pay out for severe environmental damages in Ecuador:

"In February the plaintiffs, some 30,000 Amazon Indians and peasant farmers, won an $18.2 billion verdict in provincial Ecuadorean court. Chevron call the case tainted by fraud and vowed to get the verdict nullified"

MAJIA Here: Chevron acquired Texaco, which systematically destroyed the landscape and poisoned people and animals alike by dumping toxic sludge in unlined pits.

Chevron's efforts to avoid restitution demonstrate how fundamentally sociopathically CORRUPT the modern corporation is, especially energy corporations.

Chevron is supporting their position as "victim" of fraud with assertions by Dole Food, Royal Dutch Shell and Dow Chemical that they too have been hit repeatedly by mass injury suits abroad.

Not mentioned at all is the fact that these corporations have operated as colonial power agents for decades and in so doing run roughshod over indigenous people and democratic institutions.

Below you will find a description of the hell wrought by Texaco that Chevron is trying to avoid restitution for.

Chevron and Cultural Genocide in Ecuador
By Kerry Kennedy

The disaster caused by Chevron/Texaco in the jungles of Ecuador is not a sentimental environmental cause, it is a matter of human rights, asserts Kerry Kennedy in this column.

LAGO AGRIO, Ecuador, Dec 14 (Tierramérica).- Traces of paradise are still visible. From the air, the rainforest region in northern Ecuador - known as the Oriente - appears as silvery mist and swaths of verdant green.

But beneath the cloud cover and canopy, the jungle is a tangle of oil slicks, festering sludge, and rusted pipeline. Smokestacks sprout from the ground, spewing throat-burning fumes into the air. Wastewater from unlined pits seeps into the groundwater and flows into the rivers and streams.

This nightmarish landscape is the legacy of Texaco. Between 1964 and 1990, Texaco (which was acquired by Chevron in 2001) drilled roughly 350 wells across 2,700 square miles of Amazon rainforest. It extracted some 30 billion dollars in profits while deliberately dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic soup, known as production water ­ a mixture of oil, sulfuric acid, and other carcinogens ­ into the streams and rivers where people collect drinking water, fish, bathe and swim.

In the process, Texaco constructed over 900 oil sludge pits, many the size of Olympic swimming pools. Unlike swimming pools, these pits were unlined punctures in the earth. With no concrete to protect the surrounding soil, poison seeped into the ground water.

I had head about what has been called “Chevron’s Chernobyl in the Amazon” for years. But nothing could prepare me for the horror I witnessed during my three-day visit to Ecuador....

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