Amazon Defense Coalition
23 September 2010 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109
Steven Donziger, one of the attorneys representing the Ecuadorian plaintiffs, said today in response to a hearing in the federal Southern District Court of New York concerning Chevron's attempt to seek discovery of privileged attorney-client communications and work product from the Aguinda vs. Chevron lawsuit:
"Chevron's efforts to smear those acting to hold the oil giant accountable for its criminal misconduct in Ecuador is a long-running tactic of the company. I am the fourth lawyer to represent the Amazonian communities in Ecuador who has been the target of what I believe is abusive legal action by Chevron; this is all part of the company's strategy to delay the trial and distract attention from the mountain of evidence pointing to its responsibility for massive contamination in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Some of my remarks taken out of context from discarded outtakes from the film "Crude" may be viewed as intemperate or ill-advised. Understood in their full context, they were part of the plaintiffs' response to clear evidence that Chevron was exercising corrupt influence over Ecuador's court system and had done so for decades while it discharged billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon.
"Chevron itself does not dispute that it dumped billions of gallons of toxic "water of formation" into Amazon waterways, relied upon by thousands of indigenous people for their drinking water. As a result, recent scientific evidence presented by respected American technical experts demonstrates that thousands of citizens are at risk of dying of cancer in the coming decades if there is no clean-up. I will continue to work for the victims of Chevron's intentional misconduct and I will not be deterred by Chevron's campaign of personal destruction to undermine the claims of its victims."