The Crowd vs. Chevron Oil Spill in Ecuador

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Chevron Oil Spill in Ecuador

 
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The Crowd Claims
Chevron must remediate the damages it left behind due to oil extraction in Ecuador.

Next legal action of the crowd
Seize the assets of Chevron in Canada, in order to collect the legitimate compensation of 9.5 billion US dollars, needed to clean up the contamination of 480,000 hectare Amazon rainforest and to set up a large health care program. To cover the ongoing costs for preparation of the upcoming legal steps, the crowd needs US $3,000 (2.500 euro) per month.

Summary
In 2013, the Ecuador National Court ordered Chevron to pay 9.5 billion US dollars to clean up 480,000 hectares of polluted Amazon rainforest and to set up a large health program, thereby confirming two previous verdicts of Ecuadorian provincial courts in 2011 and 2012. The contamination was arising due to inappropriate and outdated oil extraction methods between 1964 and 1992, including deliberate dumping of toxic waste and crude oil in the area. As a result, land, water and the whole ecosystem are extensively polluted, and local communities have been suffering from severe diseases, even leading to their deaths. Despite previously agreeing to abide by Ecuadorian courts’ rulings, until now Chevron refuses to pay and has meantime stripped all its assets in Ecuador.

Legal progress
In 2015, the Supreme Court decision in Canada allowed the victims to proceed with the enforcement in that country. A new ruling from the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2017 rejected Chevron’s arguments aimed at hindering the case and allowed the trial to continue in 2018.

Case background and who The Crowd supports

Chevron left Ecuador in 1992, but it “forgot” to take home the 16 billion gallons of toxic waste and 650.000 crude oil barrels that contaminates streams and rivers relied on by local inhabitants for their drinking water, bathing, and fishing. After that, Chevron ignored the Ecuadorian National Court and refused to pay the 9,5 billion US dollars to clean the contamination of 480,000 hectare Amazon rainforest.

This deathly pollution of the Amazon was caused by Texaco (acquired by Chevron in 2001) by using inappropriate and outdated oil extraction equipment and methods between 1964 and 1992, in the Lago Agrio oil fields, including dumping toxic oil sludge into over 880 unlined waste pits carved out of the jungle floor and left abandoned. Ever since, indigenous people and farmers have been permanently exposed to contaminated water and lands, causing many of them to fall (very) ill, even leading to their deaths. In the affected area, cancer and other diseases occur at a rate up to 10 times higher than the rest of the country.

In 1993, 75 indigenous people and farmers representing the 30,000 people living in the area sued Chevron, formerly Texaco, in a class-action lawsuit in New York. Nine years later, Chevron, however, persuaded the U.S. Court to transfer the case to Ecuadorian courts. The subsequent trial in Ecuador took ten years, finding Chevron guilty of damaging the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people. This verdict, which ordered Chevron to pay 9.5 billion US dollars to clean up its mess, has been reviewed and confirmed by three different layers of judgment within Ecuador, including the Ecuadorian National Court. It represents a historical milestone for local communities struggling against multinational corporations and related environmental crimes.

Chevron has stripped its Ecuadorian assets and promised the victims ‘a lifetime of lawsuits’. They have already spent hundreds of millions of US dollars to refrain from paying the 9.5 billion dollar judgment! The victims are now taking legal steps to seize the assets of this oil multinational in other countries, notably Canada, in order to collect their legitimate compensation.

Fromboliere Cia. Ltda (Fromboliere), based in Ecuador, is the NGO/nonprofit that The Crowd Versus works together with for this case. Fromboliere legally represents the Union of People Affected from Texaco’s Oil Operations (UDAPT) and collects and invests resources for this case.

  • Chevron v. Ecuador Hearing Scheduled April 17 and 18

    Posted on 14 February 2018

    After the rejection of Chevron’s million dollar security demand – a litigation tactic to prevent the case from being heard on its merits – by the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the hearing originally scheduled for October 10 and 11, 2017 will take place on April 17 and 18, 2018. As a result of a […]

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  • The Court of Appeal for Ontario decides against Chevron’s million dollar demand for security

    Posted on 5 November 2017

    The Court of Appeal for Ontario decides against Chevron’s million dollar demand for security – a Chevron tactic to derail the plaintiffs’ litigation Quito, 31st of October 2017.- The decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario gives Ecuadorians the opportunity to continue their legal action to enforce the judgement against Chevron Corporation without providing […]

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  • Delegation of EU Parliament verifying the damages caused by Chevron

    Posted on 17 July 2017

    A delegation of the European Parliament made up of Helmut Scholz and Lola Sánchez Caldentey, members of the GUE/NGL political group (Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left) will be in Ecuador between the 17 and 21 of July. The aim of this visit is to verify the damages caused by Chevron that […]

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  • The Organization of American States (OAS) stops Chevron from capturing a seat on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

    Posted on 29 June 2017

    The Organization of American States (OAS) stops Chevron from capturing a seat on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) by not electing Douglass Cassel as member. (Posted on http://texacotoxico.net/) Quito, June 22nd, 2017.- The Organization of American States (OAS) stops Chevron from capturing a seat on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) by […]

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  • 60.000 Canadian School Teachers urged the Prime Minister of Canada

    Posted on 11 June 2017

    On behalf of 60.000 Canadian School Teachers, the Prime Minister of Canada was urged to do everything in his power to hold Chevron accountable. The Toronto Court judge recently accepted a request by UDAPT, the Ecuadorian plaintiffs, in which they asked he deny Chevron the possibility of re-litigating all the arguments previously resolved by the […]

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  • A testimonial video of Carmen Zambrano

    Posted on 14 March 2017

    A testimonial video of Carmen Zambrano, who represents the Campo Shushufindi. She is also a farmer and one of the original plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Chevron. The Crowd Versus Chevron Oil Spill is crowdfunding for her case.

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