UDAPT Tells Story of Battle for Justice on New Website
One of the biggest oil spills in the history of our planet happened in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, contaminating an area of almost 5 000 square km. They seek justice in, what is called in legalese, « reparations. »
The word reparations mean money. They need this money not to enrich themselves, but to build health care facilities and programs for their people. And their lands with contaminated oil pits need to be further cleaned up, a monumental challenge and task.
The affected communities and peasants have united themselves in the UDAPT organization. For 25 years they have been seeking this type of justice for their peoples through the courts.
UDAPT needs as much help as possible, especially social media attention and money for their worthy cause.
That’s why they developed a new website. On the new UDAPT website you can read about the people involved, the effects on the communities, the programs they have developed so far, and the long legal battle for justice.
How You Can Help Online
Frequently Used Hashtags (#):
If you want to share the message of UDAPT, please use the following hashtags:
#UDAPT #LifeWithoutContamination #StopCorporateImpunity #StopChevronImpunity #LaLuchaContinua #ChevronCulpable #ChevronCleanUp #ChevronToxico #tratadovinculante
If you use these, we can find your help, like and/or re-post it!
Why do you want to share or donate?
This Case Is About Human Environmental Rights for All of Us
This case also deals with human rights versus corporate interests. It is about corporations learning to conduct social enterprise: the cost of doing business in larger terms of just taking from the earth and changing it into money.
The facts of this case: in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, the oil company Chevron-Texaco left a contaminated mess behind the size of 1 850 square miles (4 800 sq.km). From 1964 – 1990, Chevron-Texaco used inadequate and obsolete oil extraction methods, and ended up dumping toxic waste and crude oil into pits in the jungle.
When they left the area, the local communities stayed behind with contaminated water and oil pits. Nobody in the communities knew the oil would be so bad for their health. Children played in the waters, not knowing the effects long-term. This led to much higher disease rates and even deaths in their communities.
United in UDAPT
Six indigenous nationalities and 80 peasant communities, who had lived and live in these contaminated areas, began the nonprofit organization called UDAPT (Union of People Affected by Texaco). In 1993, UDAPT started the first case against Chevron (then Texaco) for the damage in the provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana.
The goal was to make Chevron repair the contaminated Northern Ecuadorian Amazon — the lungs of our earth — and provide health care for the people.
Chevron Refuses to Pay
In 2013, the National Court of Justice of Ecuador ordered the multinational Chevron Corporation to pay US $ 9.5 billion in order to build health care programs and restore contaminated areas.
When the case started, Chevron had promised to submit to the judgments of the Ecuadorian courts. In the end, the oil giant refused to pay for the damages.
Since then, the UDAPT-plaintiffs have had to seek enforcement of this Ecuadorian verdict in other countries, where the oil company does have assets (funding to provide healthcare and repair the damages).
Finally this year, their case has landed before the Supreme Court of Canada to seek justice, after a long struggle of appeals and arguments. The case has now achieved the status of a landmark case because of the legal issues it claims and encompasses.
It now functions as an example for other, similar cases about human environmental rights, after 25 years of litigation.