The “Rainforest Chernobyl:” Chevron, Ecuador and the Persecution of Steven Donziger

The “Rainforest Chernobyl:” Chevron, Ecuador and the Persecution of Steven Donziger

We go into a deep background on Chevron, their poisoning of the Ecuadoran Amazon and the company’s persecution of attorney Steven Donziger.

Episode here:

While drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1990, Texaco deliberately dumped more than 16 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled roughly 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor. In 2001, Chevron merged with Texaco. The result was, and continues to be, one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet.  It’s been called the “Rainforest Chernobyl.”

There has been a concerted legal and corporate campaign to get Chevron to take responsibility for this disaster. Attorney Steven Donziger led the campaign in the US. The company retaliated with, in Donziger’s words, “the most vicious corporate counterattack in American history.” It includes attempts to destroy Donziger’s reputation, as well as civil and criminal charges. In October, after more than 800 days of house arrest, Steven reported to Danbury FCI for a 6 month prison sentence for contempt of court. While, he was recently released, the saga continues.

We talk with Paul Paz Y Mino (@paulpaz) with Amazonwatch (@amazonwatch) about the history of Texaco and Chevron in Ecuador, the lawsuits and the campaign to demonize Steven Donziger and any anti-Chevron campaigns.

Bio// Paul is the Associate Director at Amazon Watch, where he has overseen its Chevron-Ecuador campaign since 2008. He has been a professional human rights, corporate accountability and environmental justice advocate for over 25 years. He has been Colombia Country Specialist for Amnesty International USA since 1995, served on staff at Human Rights Watch/Americas in 1995-1996, and was the Guatemala/Chiapas Program Director at the Seva Foundation for seven years. Paul has lived in Chiapas, Mexico and Quito, Ecuador, promoting human rights and community development and working directly with Indigenous communities.

Outro// David Rovics (@drovics) “When Chevron Came to Ecuador”

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