For Immediate Release
Nell Greenberg, Rainforest Action Network, 510.847.9777
Caroline Bennett, Amazon Watch, 510.520.9390
SAN FRANCISCO-Today a court in Lago Agrio, Ecuador has ruled in favor of the residents of Ecuador's Amazon region who have spent the last 18 years seeking damages for crude oil pollution. Chevron inherited the suit when it bought Texaco in 2001, and has denied the allegations of environmental damage.
Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network, who have spent years working to help the Ecuadorian people and protect the Amazon, release the following statement in response to today’s verdict:
“As of today, Chevron’s guilt for extensive oil contamination in the Amazon rainforest is official. It is time Chevron takes responsibility for these environmental and public health damages, which they have fought for the past 18 years.
“Today’s ruling in Ecuador against Chevron proves overwhelmingly that the oil giant is responsible for billions gallons of highly toxic waste sludge deliberately dumped into local streams and rivers, which thousands depend on for drinking, bathing, and fishing.
“Chevron has spent the last 18 years waging unprecedented public relations and lobbying campaigns to avoid cleaning up the environmental and public health catastrophe it left in the Amazon rainforest. Today’s guilty verdict sends a loud and clear message: It is time Chevron clean up its disastrous mess in Ecuador.
“Today’s case is historic and unprecedented. It is the first time Indigenous people have sued a multinational corporation in the country where the crime was committed and won.
“Today’s historic ruling against Chevron is a testament to the strength of the Ecuadorian people who have spent 18 years bringing Chevron to justice while suffering the effects of the company’s extensive oil contamination.”
Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s addiction to fossil fuels, protect endangered forests and indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org
Founded in 1996, Amazon Watch is a non-profit environmental and human rights organization working to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin.
Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org