Ecuador: resident continues twenty year fight for justice with Chevron

Posted on April 26, 2013 • Filed under: Business, Conflicts, Ecuador, Human Rights Latin America, Latin America Health, Oil

CSR Press Release Reported that the 20-year fight by residents of Ecuador’s Amazonian rain forest to make Chevron pay to clean up the contamination and polluted streams it left behind has made civil society stronger and Ecuador’s courts better prepared to deal with similar cases in the future, a lawyer who was part of the case told students and faculty at Harvard.

Chris Jochnick now works in Washington with Oxfam America. He appeared this week with Andres Snaider, an attorney and litigation consultant who is helping a group of Ecuadorian residents who won a judgment in Ecuador in 2011 against Chevron for the giant oil company’s substandard oil operations that left hundreds of pits filled with toxic chemicals and allowed the poisons to run into streams and rivers and pollute the soil.

Speaking at the Carr Center on Human Rights at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the two men focused on the people affected by the damage, where cancer deaths, birth defects and other serious health results were traced to Chevron’s practices. Aguinda v. Chevron was filed on behalf of residents like Maria Aguinda, now a 63-year-old grandmother who speaks Qechua, and who saw two of her 10 children die and her grandchildren sickened by the pollution. “The company killed her culture; her people can’t hunt and fish anymore,” said Snaider, reading from a personal account she gave to a journalist last year. “She hoped filing the case would get her family some health care.”

“When Texaco (later acquired by Chevron) came to Ecuador to drill in the 1960s, the military government was thrilled. The country had no respect for the Amazon jungle and its people. They allowed the company build roads, clear land, drill well and dump their waste with no oversight,” said Jochnick. “The contamination of land and water was quite deliberate and it created havoc in the Amazon,” he said. Read Article

Share This Story
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • email