„What Chevron has done in Ecuador is inexcusable. In the United States this would never have happened” protested President Rafael Correa, before embarking on a trip to the Amazon where he launch a campaign against the US based Chevron oil company which has refused to pay a USD 19 billion fine for serious environmental damages to the Ecuadorian rainforest after almost 20 years of legal battle which the company lost.
Chevron-Texaco caused environmental damages in the Ecuadorian Amazon between 1964 and 1990. This led to a lawsuit against the oil transnational by more than 30.000 indigenous people affected by the environmental contamination.
The President stressed out that „this is the largest environmental disaster in the history of the planet. 85 times worse than the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 18 times worse than the Exxon Valdez spill at the coast of Alaska.”
Correa also mentioned that the disaster could have been avoided. However, the company did not care about environmental conservation as this would have affected its earnings, and therefore opted to dispose of their waste into the water, rivers and swamps. They chose to save a few dollars to improve their profits even if that meant poisoning people and destroying the Amazon rainforest.
The government pointed out that this campaign to hold the oil company accountable is being supported by countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas – ALBA, as well as by many international personalities such as the mayor of Richmond, California (where Chevron has been accused of contaminating the local population as a result of a fire in a refinery), the singer Cher, the band The police, among many others.