Last night’ s international solidarity forum focused on the “Chevron’s Dirty Hands Campaign,” drawing parallels between oil operations in the Amazon and in North America, with an emphasis on the Alberta Tar Sands.
Between 1964 and 1990, U.S. oil giant Texaco (now Chevron) dumping some 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater in the Amazon in Ecuador. This led to a proliferation of miscarriages, birth defects, and cancer rates thirty times higher than elsewhere in the country. The region’s indigenous inhabitants bear the brunt of the genocidal effects of the Amazon’s destruction.
Rather than accept responsibility, Chevron fought against compensation, spending $400 million on legal services in 2013 alone. Last December, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled Ecuador’s indigenous communities do have the right to pursue Chevron’s assets in Canada to enforce the $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador.