Tag Archive for 'ecuador'

Ecuador Court Orders Chevron To Pay $8 billion

About 916 pits were used by Texaco Petroleum, the US oil major, and PetroEcuador, the state company, for the 23 years before Texaco’s exit from the country in 1992. Photo retrieved from: www.http://pangaea-yep.com

“A court in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle ordered Chevron Corp to pay more than $8 billion in damages on Monday in a closely watched environmental suit, the plaintiffs’ lawyer said.

But the U.S. oil company vowed to appeal, meaning the long-running case dating from drilling in the South American nation during the 1970s and 1980s could last for years more.

The case, which activists portray as a fight for justice against rich polluters but Chevron says is more to do with opportunism, has triggered related legal action in U.S. courts and international arbitration.

It is being monitored by the oil industry for precedents that could lead to other large claims. Chevron had expected to lose the case in the Ecuadorean court.

In a statement on Monday, Chevron did not give any figure from the ruling by the court in Lago Agrio, but said it believed the judgment was “illegitimate” and “unenforceable in any court that observes the rule of law.”

It said the United States and international tribunals had already taken steps to bar enforcement of the ruling.

Pablo Fajardo, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the court had ordered Chevron to pay more than $8 billion damages.

The lawsuit had originally demanded $27 billion.

LENGTHY APPEALS

Residents of Ecuador’s Amazon region have said faulty drilling practices by Texaco, which was bought by Chevron in 2001, caused damage to wide areas of jungle and harmed indigenous people in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Read more: Los Angeles Times

3 Countries in South America Defending Local Rights Against Destructive Water Projects

Photo retrieved from: www.alternet.org

“South America is home to some of the most biodiverse, and ethnically diverse, regions in the world, but some of the precious water resources are being used to boost energy for some while threatening local ecosystems and the health and survival of thousands, if not millions, of others.

Here are three controversial projects that may boost energy or agricultural production, but not without tradeoffs. It sure does complicate the clean energy discussion—hydropower is cleaner than fossil fuels, but is it a perfect solution? Not if you ask the people living near the proposed dam sites.

Brazil

The Brazilian government is moving ahead on plans for the world’s third-largest dam, Belo Monte, despite years of protests from both local and international communities and organizations.

Critics say the project, to be built on a tributary of the Amazon, will ruin the local environment and displace 50,000 (mostly indigenous) people—if not threaten the survival of indigenous groups entirely. Despite the protests, President Lula da Silva gave the formal go-ahead last month.

Ecuador

A giant hydroelectric project funded by China would threaten Ecuador’s highest waterfall, San Rafael Falls, which sits in a crucial transition zone between the Andes and the Amazon.”

Read more: AlterNet

Ecuador water law sparks protests

“Police in Ecuador have used tear gas and batons in clashes with protesters trying to reach the national assembly in the capital, Quito.

“The clashes on Thursday came as about 1,500 people joined a protest against a proposed new law that would regulate water resources.

“The protesters say the proposed law discriminates against indigenous groups by allowing private companies to divert water that local people have depended on for generations.”

read more: Al Jazeera

Exposed: Chevron’s Cover-up of Gross Environmental Abuses in Ecuador

“In 1964, it started. That was the year they made the first well at Lago Agrio. But we didn’t know that petroleum was a contaminant. It was with the help of the Summer Institute of Linguistics [a missionary group] that we found out that it was a carcinogen and that it would cause different kinds of illnesses. Two of my children died from drinking contaminated water. Since then, we don’t drink any water from the Aguarico River, because it’s completely contaminated with oil, so we don’t even bathe in it. We have to look for a spring or catch rainwater. We’ve gotten exactly three things from the company: pollution, sickness and death; that’s it.”

read more: AlterNet