On May 17, Causes.com highlighted an inspiring project by Amazon Watch. Today, a part of their effort has reached its conclusion, and they featured a blog post from my (cross posted at Causes.com)
A few days ago three Ecuadorian activists, representing a community of 30,000 people in Ecuador made the trek back home. They had traveled across the U.S. bringing their story of suffering and tireless struggle to make Chevron clean up the toxic waste it deliberately dumped over decades of oil operations in their homelands. Our project on Causes has some great videos and photos highlighting their story. Humberto Piaquaje, Servio Curipoma and Carmen Zambrano were accompanied by Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network on a journey that culminated with a face-to-face confrontation with Chevron CEO John Watson, the Board of Directors, and Chevron shareholders in San Ramon, Ca.
Thank you for your support
Upon his return to Ecuador, Servio Curipoma, recorded a thank you message to all the people, supporters who donated and shared the Amazon Watch project, and organizations who made his historic journey possible and who are helping a courageous community face Chevron and demand justice.
Watch the video message of thanks from Servio Here.
Voices of Ecuador
Humberto, Carmen, and Servio delivered a poignant message to Chevron and its shareholders: "My parents both died from cancer due to Chevron's contamination," said Servio Curipoma, a cacao farmer from the polluted town of San Carlos in Ecuador's northeast Amazon rainforest region. Curipoma's parents built a house on a remediated oil pit in Ecuador. "I am fighting for justice so that no one else will have to suffer the pain they did, and the loss that I have." "We are the human face of Chevron's operations, armed with the memories of our dead relatives, our neighbors, our sick children," said Carmen Zambrano, a plaintiff and mother from Shushufindi, Ecuador. "We are here as living proof that the health crisis in our home is urgent and it will not go away, and we are confronting Chevron in person to demand that the company take responsibility."
Servio Curipoma, Humberto Piaquaje, and Carmen Zambrano after their confrontation with Chevron's Board.
The end of the beginning
The trip was sparked by an Ecuadorian court's ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, represented by the plaintiffs, awarding them an $18 billion dollar judgement for the pollution of Texaco (now Chevron). Though it is a great move forward it only signifies a new stage in a decades long battle. Humberto, Servio, Carmen, and the community of 30,000 Ecuadorians they represent will need continued support to continue to press Chevron to honor the courts decision. Their delegation made a lasting impact on policymakers in Washington, institutional shareholders of Chevron in New York, investment firms everywhere and most importantly to Chevron shareholders and the broader public.
Please help them continue to the fight by joining the Cause: Stop Chevron: Defend the Amazon.
I work as the Director of Outreach and Online Strategy at Amazon Watch. The views expressed in this column are mine alone. Amazon Watch is proud to accompany the Ecuadorian communities affected by Chevron's deliberate contamination in the Amazon for over a decade. During the course of our lengthy campaign, Amazon Watch has also allied with the legal team responsible for one of the most important environmental victories in history by achieving a $9.5 billion judgement against Chevron affirmed by the Supreme Court of Ecuador in a 222-page decision that meticulously documents the company's environmental crimes, fraud, bribery, and subterfuge during the long eight-year trial.