Organizers say the oil giant should pay the US$9.5 billion ordered by an Ecuadorean Court to victims of the company's contamination of the Amazon
21 May 2015
Activists and organizers throughout the world are gathering Thursday for International #AntiChevron Day, calling on the oil company to pay for the environmental degradation caused in a number of countries, particularly in the South American nation of Ecuador.
Organizers the actions targeting Chevron also seek to bring attention to the plight of tens of thousands of indigenous people in the Ecuadorean amazon, who as a result of Chevron's contamination have been forced to take legal action to force the company to be accountable for its actions.
“We demand that Chevron stop attacking Ecuador, that Chevron cleans up its mess, and that Chevron pays what it owes,” read a communique released by organizers.
The affected communities have been facing off with Chevron in court for decades, seeking to collect US$9.5 billion in compensation for environmental damage caused by the company.
Ecuadorean courts found that Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – caused what has been called one of the world’s greatest environmental disasters as a result of its oil exploration in the Ecuadorean Amazon between the years 1964 and 1990.
Events are being held in 12 countries throughout the world, including in Canada where represented of affected communities are asking courts to seize Chevron's assets in order to collect on the multi-billion dollar ruling. In December of 2014 the Supreme Court heard arguments whether Canada is an appropriate jurisdiction, a ruling is expected in late 2015.
Instead of respecting the ruling of the Ecuadorean courts, Chevron has gone on the offensive. The oil company has taken Ecuador to International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a tribunal of the World Bank, to demand that the Ecuadorean state pay the US$9.5 billion judgment.
The ICSID hearing was met with protests that gathered indigenous peoples and supporters from throughout North and South America to reject the company's efforts to not be held accountable.