Rainforest Communities Issue Statement Condemning Chevron's Greed and Criminal Misconduct in South American Country
Amazon Defense Coalition
3 January 2012 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109
Quito, Ecuador – The Lago Agrio plaintiffs issued the following statement on the ruling from the Provincial Court of Justice of Sucumbios in Lago Agrio, Ecuador that upholds the $18 billion lower court damage award issued in February against Chevron for the company’s intentional contamination of the Ecuadorian rainforest:
"The decision by an independent appellate court is yet further confirmation of Chevron's extraordinary greed and criminal misconduct in Ecuador. The decision is based on overwhelming scientific evidence presented at trial that proved Chevron deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste that poisoned the water supply of the Amazon rainforest, decimating indigenous groups and causing an outbreak of cancers and other diseases that continue to threaten thousands of innocent lives. Because Chevron's current management team continues to mislead its own shareholders and disobey the law in Ecuador, the rainforest communities are being forced to consider standard judgment enforcement actions against Chevron in other countries to protect their legal right to funds necessary to restore their ancestral lands and save lives. We note Chevron grossed $240 billion in 2011 and reported profits of roughly $8 billion in the most recent quarter.
"The appellate court relied on a record that proved that Chevron has violated the rights of the communities where it operates, disrespected local laws, intimidated community leaders and judges, lied about basic evidence, tried to defraud the court with junk science, and launched an international lobbying campaign to taint the reputation of Ecuador's government for allowing its citizens to use their legally-protected right to seek accountability in their own courts.
"We also note that after destroying the environment and the entire way of life of five indigenous groups to maximize its profits, Chevron sold almost all of its assets in Ecuador and essentially fled the country. Chevron now has an opportunity to show the world, especially in Latin America where it faces numerous environmental problems, that it respects the laws and courts of other countries. If it does not, the communities will take all measures allowed by law to secure their legally entitled right to a clean-up."