Quantcast

Secret Videos Expose Chevron's Corruption in Ecuadorian Oil Spill

Energy

There's a new development in the case against Chevron for its failure to address decades of contamination in the Ecuadorian Amazon. An apparent Chevron whistleblower sent dozens of internal company videos to Amazon Watch with a note saying "I hope this is useful for you in your trial against Texaco/Chevron. [signed] A Friend from Chevron."

The videos reveal Chevron employees secretly visiting the company's former well sites in Ecuador to find samples that didn't contain crude oil to use in soil and water samples at later site inspections.

The videos—some of which can be seen on Amazon Watch—show Chevron employees and consultants secretly visiting the company's former well sites in Ecuador to find samples that didn't contain crude oil to use in soil and water samples at later site inspections when the presiding trial judge would be there to monitor the testing.

The problem is that they couldn't do it. In the videos, the employees can be heard joking about how they just can't find a sample without crude oil in it. I don't see anyone in the surrounding community laughing in the video when they talk about a nearby pond "oozing" with crude that is killing their cows and their own people.

"This is smoking gun evidence that shows Chevron hands are dirty—first for contaminating the region, and then for manipulating and hiding critical evidence," said Paul Paz y Miño, director of outreach at Amazon Watch. Chevron testified before both U.S. and Ecuadorian courts that the sites had been remediated in the mid-1990s.

"The videos show company technicians discussing in stark terms the presence of oil pollution in places where they told the court it didn't exist. This is corruption caught on tape," said Kevin Koenig, Ecuador program director at Amazon Watch, who has been working with the affected communities for two decades.

"After reviewing 105 technical evidentiary reports documenting extensive pollution, eight appellate judges, including Ecuador's Supreme Court, affirmed Chevron's liability in 2013 after 11 years of legal proceedings in the company's chosen forum," says Amazon Watch. "Damages were set at $9.5 billion, but Chevron thus far has refused to pay."

The case has made it all the way to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, which ruled a few weeks ago that the Ecuadorean court's ruling should be upheld. The case has, of course, been appealed by Chevron, whose own CEO, John Watson, "promised the Ecuadorians a lifetime of litigation, saying the 22-year-old legal battle will end when 'the plaintiffs' lawyers give up'" reports Amazon Watch.

In case you didn't think Chevron's actions were appalling enough: In the appeal, Chevron is arguing that not only should it not have to pay for the decades worth of damage, but that the Ecuadorian people should foot the bill for the clean up, according to Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, who spoke about the case with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now!

Additional videos are being reviewed by Amazon Watch and will be released in the coming weeks. Watch one of the tapes below:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Will Chevron and Exxon Ever Be Held Responsible for Decades of Contamination

Jon Stewart Hammers Gov. Christie Over Staggering Exxon Spill Settlement

Big Coal Seeks Big Bailout Despite Strong Opposition

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.

Read More Show Less
Valerie / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A coalition of some of the largest environmental groups in the country joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Trump administration's maneuver to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
beyond foto / Getty Images

By Kimberly Holland

Children who eat a lot of gluten in their earliest years may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerance, according to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source.

Read More Show Less
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

Read More Show Less
orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less