Students of the Arts HKU Explain on Anti-Chevron Day: Oil in Your Food, Water and Lands Was and Will Never Be Normal

Between 1964 and 1990 oil giant Chevron (formerly Texaco) contributed to one of the biggest environmental disasters in the history. A gigantic oil spill contaminated an area of 4,800 square kilometres of the Amazonian rainforest in Ecuador. It destroyed the lands of 30,000 indigenous people and farmers, and the biodiversity in the area. For over 25 years now, they fight a difficult legal battle against Chevron to achieve justice.

25-Year Fight for Legal Justice

In 1993 the 30,000 peasants and indigenous people joined forces in UDAPT (Spanish Acronym of ‘la Unión de Afectados y Afectadas por las Operaciones Petroleras de Texaco’). This organization started litigation to have Chevron (formerly Texaco) pay to create health programs for the affected peoples and to restore the lands and water. The Ecuador National Court ordered Chevron to pay 9.5 billion dollars, but they refused. Instead, Chevron left with all its assets. That is why the plaintiffs have to go abroad to achieve justice, where the legal road is long and exhausting. 

Art Students Take Action 

Students from the University of the Arts Utrecht took action. They made a short film to create awareness of the situation. To help people to relate to the situation in Ecuador, they show an average European family living in an oil contaminated home and neighborhood.

One of the students, Thomas Paschenegger said: “We are honored to contribute to this important legal battle for environmental and social justice in Ecuador. It would be fantastic if the film creates more awareness and support of the situation of the UDAPT people, and informs people about the crimes committed by Chevron.”

Creating Awareness

The assignment of this film came from The Crowd Versus. The Crowd Versus is supporting the case of UDAPT against Chevron since 2014.

According to Marco Witschge, platform co-lead: “We are constantly looking for new ways to create awareness and donations for this case. The students of the HKU did a fantastic job. This case is not only of great importance for the people in Ecuador, but also for the world. It will better protect our human rights and the rights of nature, and it shows irresponsible corporations that the law applies to all.” 

Want to help? Our Call To Action:

  1. Whatever you like to do, photography, vlog, draw a great cartoon, or cook to create your own fundraising event, know that we would love to enlarge the footprint of your message. You can do more for the indigenous people and farmers of Ecuador by posting your own content and picking the Chevron v. Ecuador case to support with your (artistic) work here.
  2. Donate here to make a difference.

Together we create more awareness for their cause and funding, a win-win situation for both you and the UDAPT nonprofit.

The Crowd Versus Chevron Oil Spill

UDAPT Demands Transparency from Ecuador Government

27 February 2019

Press release by the Ecuadorian minister for Energy

This past week, 26 February 2019, the government of Ecuador announced (article in Spanish) that it will repair the environmental damages caused by Chevron in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

This declaration by Carlos Perez, the Minister of Energy of Ecuador, surprised the UDAPT — the Union of those Affected by Texaco-Chevron. The UDAPT organization were neither informed nor consulted. Now, the UDAPT fear that there may be an agreement between the multinational and the national government of Ecuador which they do not know about.

Background

The UDAPT will not  accept reparations as approved by an old agreement between Chevron and Ecuador from 1995-1998. The Ecuador government then agreed to conditions which consisted of sometimes hiding parts of the pollution, such as dirt piled on top of oil pits.

UDAPT Demands

The UDAPT demand that the process of remediations be made transparent. They want to fully participate. The remediation process has to account for more than just the clean-up of the pollution Chevron left behind. The process must restore the water sources, rivers and ecosystems. The UDAPT peoples need good health programs for their high rates of cancer and illnesses. After 26 years of pollution, they require the rehabilitation of indigenous cultures, which they feel is the minimum of reparation to be done.

Most importantly, the UDAPT also demand the remediation process is transparent. They demand to be consulted at each level.

Tuesday 27 February Facebook event:

A Facebook LIVE event was held Tuesday, 27 February 2019, at 11:00 AM Quito, Ecuador time.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Here is the video which you can turn into a WATCH TOGETHER event:

Facebook Posts by Attorney Pablo Fajardo

Facebook posts:

TRANSLATION of Pablo Fajardo’s post:

REPUDIABLE THE ACTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ECUADOR. Friends, today the Ecuadorian State through the person of Mr. Carlos Perez, Minister of Petroleum, informed us that the State will remedy the assets left for them by Chevron in Orellana and Sucumbios. That fact is serious. There is a verdict that finds Chevron guilty and condemns it to pay the cost of environmental remediation. Now the State, with money from all of us, wants to remedy what Chevron harmed. This fact apparently reflects a possible agreement between the oil company and the Ecuadorian State. They could not annul the sentence, now they are looking for other mechanisms to weaken the people’s struggle for access to justice. The lack of transparency of the Ecuadorian State in this matter is repudiable and condemnable, they know that there is a condemnatory sentence, and they have not been able to inform and consult those affected. What is more, with what parameters do they want to remedy? With those who have applied Chevron and the State in the past? With those who determine the sentence?
We repudiate this fact and we oppose this supposed remediation if all these facts are not clarified first. I invite you, friends, to remain attentive.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

For further information, please read here at the www.texacotoxico.net website (Spanish version available only).

CALL TO ACTION:

Please become active and support this 26-year old case. Write your thoughts or submit pictures you have taken in the jungle of the Amazon. Links for Bloggers Versus or Photogs Versus.

Make your voice heard!

Growing Up in an Oil Contaminated Environment: The Effects on Children

Posted on January 29, 2019

The Ecuadorian Amazon is one of the most beautiful and diverse natural areas in the world, but after a major environmental disaster, children now grow up in a contaminated environment. 

Twenty five years ago the oil company Chevron caused one of the largest oil spills in history. It still affects the lives of the people living in the area, because people get sikc, children grow up in a contaminated environment, and animals and plants die.

UDAPT

A group of 30,000 indigenous peoples and peasant united in UDAPT to fight a legal battle against Chevron. They want the oil spill cleaned up and a health program for the people affected.

Parents Struggle

For children, growing up in an environment like this is hard. They see their parents struggle and there is not much they can do. The legal battle goes on for 25 years and the major question is: will they ever see justice?

Tell the world

To tell the world about their situation, the children made drawings of their life. The message is clear: we are suffering. The only way to make their lives better, is by supporting the legal case. Only by law can Chevron be held accountable, and be forced to clean up their mess.

You can help by sharing this message, or support the case financially, because these children deserve a better future .

children's life after an oil spill

UDAPT Tells Story of Battle for Justice on New Website

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

Read more about the case on the case page. Or on social media. Check out UDAPT on Twitter, and The Facebook of UDAPT.  Likes and re-posts are very much appreciated.

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.

Thank you for helping, wherever, whenever.