News-in-Transition

Wednesday, 19 September 2013


Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has called for an international boycott of major US oil corporation Chevron, blaming it for polluting the Amazon.

"This is one of the biggest environmental disasters in the world," Correa said Tuesday while launching a major campaign to highlight Amazon pollution reportedly caused by American oil companies that used to have dominating influence in the Latin American nation.

"The tools that we will use to fight Chevron are the truth and a call for solidarity of citizens of the world to not buy Chevron products," the Ecuadoran president added.

Ecuador hopes that music and film stars as well as renowned environmental activists will visit the Amazon and offer their support for the cause.

Correa initiated his anti-environmental-pollution campaign in the town of Aguarico, in the north Amazonian province of Sucumbios, where Texaco, another former US oil giant, operated between 1964 and 1990.

Texaco merged with Chevron in a major corporate deal in 2001.

Chevron claims it has never “directly” operated in Ecuador and “inherited” the pollution lawsuit from Texaco. It has not yet paid the USD19 billion fine associated with the lawsuit.

As he announced in his campaign against Chevron in Aguarico, Correa dipped his hand in a pool of oily sludge left in the area and held it up for media cameras.

"To save a few dollars, Chevron used the worst mining techniques. There are around a thousand pools like this in our Amazon, and they were never taken care of, just hidden by a layer of earth to deceive the Ecuadoran state," he said.

Meanwhile, Chevron issued a statement, accusing Correa of "providing a distorted and inaccurate account of the history of these oil fields and who is responsible for the environmental impact."

Indigenous groups and local farmers in the Latin American nation have sued Texaco for environmental pollution after it left the country in 1990.

After years of litigation, Chevron was ordered in 2012 to pay USD19 billion, but the ruling has yet to be reviewed by Ecuador's highest court in response to a legal challenge by the wealthy oil giant.

Source: Press TV

[Hat tip: Philosophers Stone]

 

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