Chevron has spent hundreds of millions of dollars polishing its image as an unusual, environmentally-conscious corporation. Why would it even consider entering into a relationship with Texaco?

Right now, Texaco is knee-deep in a well-publicized lawsuit that could ultimately cost Texaco or any corporation that acquires it, billions of dollars.

For years, in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, Texaco violated industry practice by dumping toxic-laden water produced by oil drilling on the ground, in nearby rivers and streams, and in ponds, destroying the surrounding environment. The waste that was dumped is filled with some of the most toxic, cancer-causing chemicals known to man. In places, one sees cattle and other animals that have become trapped in the poisonous black muck and asphyxiated.

The indigenous tribes in the region once looked to the fertile rivers for their food supplies. Those rivers are now dead. And deadly. Many who remain suffer from a pre-cancerous dermatological disease. Women report a marked increase in spontaneous abortions. In some villages, the number of cancer cases already far exceeds the expected norms.

Those who are left of the indigenous tribes who had inhabited the area for centuries are suing Texaco for the loss of their way of life and the endangerment of their health, as well as for the cost of their medical treatment and the clean up of their vast lands. During the years of Texaco's exploitation, disease and forced migration reduced one tribe's population from 15,000 to few hundred.

If Chevron takes over Texaco, it will be assuming a financial and public-relations nightmare. Like Exxon, Texaco will have to answer for its actions in a court of law. Think about it: Exxon must pay $5 billion in punitive damages for its one-time accidental spill off the coast of Alaska. In Ecuador, Texaco intentionally dumped the equivalent of three Exxon Valdez disasters into the environment. Do people care how a company treats the environment and its inhabitants?

People surely do.


Paid for by the Committee for the Defense of the Amazon (Frente de Defensa de la Amazonia).
C/O Amazon Coalition, 1367 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C.,20036.
To see photos of the catastrophe and to get more information, visit our website at www.texacorainforest.org




Back to Why the lawsuit