The Clean Up Ecuador campaign is crucial because Chevron continues its drastic measures to avoid facing justice in a court of law. In an effort to avoid facing a judgment in court, it hired consultants to produce deceptive scientific studies, and attempted to employ political and economic pressure to force Ecuador’s government to intervene in the case. Now that Chevron has been ordered by a judge to pay $8.6 billion, it is using international arbitration courts to attempt to force Ecuador's government to foot the bill for its toxic mess, and has unleashed a barrage of litigation against plaintiffs' lawyers and allies in the United States, attempting to prevent them from enforcing the Ecuadorian judgment in the U.S. Chevron attacks the credibility of the Lago Agrio court, accuses the plaintiffs' lawyers of being con artists, and declares that the entire case against it is an extortion scheme. This overheated rhetoric has a very real price. Over the years, plaintiffs' lawyers and supporters in Ecuador have been subject to a pattern of intimidation, burglaries and death threats, which Chevron has refused to condemn.
Chevron is the second-largest US oil company, and its deep pockets and considerable political clout mean there is a very real threat that it will succeed in making an end run around justice. Amazon Watch applies grassroots tactics to keep the company's misdeeds in the spotlight, ensuring that 30,000 Ecuadorians can have their day in court.
Now facing an initial judgment against it in Ecuador, Chevron management finds itself increasingly desperate. A victory for the plaintiffs would set a historic precedent that would reverberate throughout the oil industry, and our campaign has helped keep these momentous events right where Chevron doesn't want them: in the public eye. In recent years we have helped get news of the case into many major U.S. and international media outlets. Also in April of 2008, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, Pablo Fajardo, and community leader Luis Yanza were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for their efforts to bring Chevron to justice.
Follow the links below to learn more about our efforts and some of our most noteworthy successes. Visit the "Take Action" section to learn how you can get involved in the fight for justice for the Ecuadorian Amazon!