ChevronToxico

Chevron's Ecuador Disaster in the Spotlight as Celebrities Open Photo Exhibit, Tour Rainforest Communities

Daryl Hannah and Q’orianka Kilcher, the “Peruvian Pocahontas”, in Quito to Pressure Oil Giant
Judgment Nears in Landmark $6 Billion-Environmental Trial

Amazon Watch

Amazon Watch
4 June 2007 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Paz y Miño: +1 510.281.9020 x302, paz@amazonwatch.org


B-ROLL FOOTAGE AND INTERVIEWS WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM WEDS. JUNE 6. DARYL HANNAH WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE TO REPORT BACK TO US MEDIA FROM SUNDAY, JUNE 10.

Quito - Chevron's three decades of devastating toxic dumping in the Ecuadorian rainforest will be in the spotlight this week as the actress and environmentalist Daryl Hannah, tours communities ravaged by cancers and other diseases related to the contamination.

Meanwhile the Crude Reflections photo exhibit, which graphically illustrates the human toll of the disaster, will go on display in Ecuador for the first time, at Quito's prestigious Guayasamin Museum. The opening, on Wednesday, will be attended by Ms. Hannah and Q'orianka Kilcher, who starred as Pocahontas, opposite Colin Farrell, in "The New World". Ms. Kilcher is of mixed Peruvian indigenous descent and is Amazon Watch's Youth Ambassador. Last year she visited Achuar communities poisoned by toxic dumping in the northern Peruvian Amazon.

The developments come as a landmark class-action lawsuit against Texaco (now Chevron), which has dragged on for years, is finally due to reach a conclusion in early 2008. The presence of Ms. Hannah and Ms. Kilcher, and the show are expected to generate huge public interest in Ecuador where Texaco operated from the 1960s to the 1990s, making billions of dollars of profit.

During that period Texaco dumped 18.5 billion gallons of formation waters, a toxic byproduct of the drilling process, directly into a vast inhabited area of the northern Ecuadorian Amazon in contravention of industry standards of the time. The 30,000 plaintiffs are demanding an environmental remediation that has been provisionally priced at $6 billion.

Ms. Hannah will begin her tour on Monday, visiting contaminated sites and poisoned communities around Lago Agrio, the oil-boom town deep in the tropical rainforest where the courthouse hearing the environmental trial is based. Star of numerous Hollywood movies including "Kill Bill" and "Kill Bill 2", "Splash" and "Bladerunner", Ms. Hannah is also increasingly known for her environmental advocacy and promotion of sustainable living.

On Wednesday, she will meet with leaders from indigenous Achuar and Kichwa communities in southern Ecuador who are fighting to stop the oil industry entering and devastating their lands with new drilling. In the evening, Ms. Hannah will then attend the formal opening of the Crude Reflections exhibit, along with Ms. Kilcher.

The photos, by award-winning Bay Area photographers Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak, have already been widely seen in the US, from San Francisco City Hall to New York. But this is the first time they have been on show in Ecuador. After Quito, they will go on display in Lago Agrio, giving the photographers' subjects a rare chance to see the work.