Chevron Continues PR Campaign to Mask Human Rights Abuses in Ecuador
27 August 2009 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109
San Francisco – Chevron, a company facing widespread criticism by many Bay Area organizations for human rights abuses and environmental destruction, is the primary sponsor of CompassPoint's "Nonprofit Day". CompassPoint Nonprofit Services is a consulting, research, and training organization, that provides tools to the very same non-profits fighting the likes of Chevron. Chevron's donation is the latest in a string of good-will gestures intended in deflecting attention from a $27 billion dollar lawsuit in Ecuador. Amazon Watch called upon CompassPoint and all the non-profits participating in the event to demand that Chevron fund a full-scale clean up of its toxic waste in the rainforest.
In a letter sent to CompassPoint, Amazon Watch voiced concern towards CompassPoint's conflicting relationship with Chevron:
"We believe that as Chevron's very prominent sponsorship of the event publicly associates your name with Chevron's corporate brand and image, you should know what the Chevron brand has come to represent in the Ecuadorian rainforest and beyond.
"Your organization represents the best of the Bay Area. We hope that you will join us in using Chevron's association with Nonprofit Day as an opportunity to press the company to do the moral thing in Ecuador."
"Our concern is not in the intention of CompassPoint, rather that Chevron's participation in Non-profit day dilutes the mission of the organization. This is typical Chevron spin, throwing peanuts to a good cause, while throwing punches at communities where they operate," said Paul Paz y Miño, Managing Director at Amazon Watch. "This is the very same corporation that attacked last year's Goldman Environmental Prize winners with a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle." The Goldman Prize and its associated family fund are two of the most respected non-profits in the San Francisco Bay area.
Chevron has seen a wave of negative press in the past months, primarily focused on the company's dumping of more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste water into Amazon waterways and abandonment of more than 900 unlined waste pits filled with oil sludge. In the past months, Chevron has launched its PR crisis team to new levels by hiring online bloggers, paying for bloggers to attend Chevron-chaperoned trips to Ecuador, and hiring three giants in the PR world (Edelman, Sard Verbinnen & Co., and Hill & Knowlton) to develop a crisis plan for the company.
A verdict in the $27 billion lawsuit in expected later this year or early 2010.