Crude Reflections

From 1964 to 1992 Texaco oil corporation, now ChevronTexaco, built and operated oil production facilities in the northern region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. When the company arrived, the region was pristine rainforest inhabited by traditional indigenous communities.

Nearly three decades later, a vast area had been environmentally devastated, the toxic contamination estimated to be roughly 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill. Dozens of communities continue to suffer severe health effects including unprecedented and surging rates of cancer. Indigenous communities have lost their traditional homelands, and more than 2 million acres of ancient rainforests have been leveled.

In May 2003, the affected people of the Amazon filed a lawsuit against ChevronTexaco.

The judge in the Ecuadorian court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 2011.

This groundbreaking verdict is enforceable in the United States, and sets the standard under which powerful multinational companies will be held accountable in similar cases in the future. Like Enron and Exxon Valdez, this story exposes the often un-regulated practices of multi-national corporations and the plight of a people neglected for profit.

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