Chevron pollution in Ecuadorean Amazon

This video says about itself:

The Empire Files: Chevron vs. the Amazon – Inside the Killzone

15 August 2016

A U.S. court just handed another victory to the oil giant Chevron Texaco, in its decades-long battle to avoid paying damages it owes in one of the worst environmental disasters in history.

In the Ecuadorean Amazon, the most biodiverse area of the world, the energy titan deliberately poisoned 5 million acres of pristine habitat and subjected tens of thousands of indigenous peoples to destruction of their health and culture.

In Part 1 of ‘Chevron vs. the Amazon,’ Abby Martin takes The Empire Files inside Chevron Texaco’s Amazon killzone to see the areas deemed “remediated” by Chevron, and spoke with the people living in the aftermath.

Ecuador’s fight against Chevron’s impunity, 13 Nov 2016: here.

Chevron oil corporation against human rights, environment

This video says about itself:

21 May 2016

Marking International Day of Action Against Chevron, anti-Chevron protesters around the world are demanding justice for the company’s human rights violations and environmental damage.

Brazil, coup and Chevron oil

This video says about itself:

Wikileaks: Brazil‘s New Foreign Minister Promised to Help Chevron

16 May 2016

Jose Serra, the new foreign minister of the Senate-imposed interim government, is mentioned in the Wikileaks cables offering to help the U.S. oil giant Chevron.

Why The Campaign Against Brazil’s First Female President Is An Attack Against All Women: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Noam Chomsky: Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff “Impeached by a Gang of Thieves”

17 May 2016

As protests continue in Brazil over the Legislature’s vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial, Noam Chomsky notes that “we have the one leading politician who hasn’t stolen to enrich herself, who’s being impeached by a gang of thieves, who have done so. That does count as a kind of soft coup.” Rousseff’s replacement, Brazil’s former vice president, Michel Temer, is a member of the opposition PMDB party who is implicated in Brazil’s massive corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras, and has now appointed an all-white male Cabinet charged with implementing corporate-friendly policies.

This video says about itself:

Countries Against the Coup in Brazil

16 May 2016

Ten countries throughout the world have rejected the Senate-imposed interim government led by Michel Temer.

Chevron polluted, bribed judge to lie in Ecuador

This video from the USA says about itself:

Donny Rico & Chevron make it a crime to defend the environment

20 January 2014

Amazon Watch teams up with Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Fiore once again!

[Watch the entire Donny Rico series here]

To draw attention to Chevron‘s threat to open society and freedom of speech Amazon Watch presents “Donny Rico”. The satirical look at Chevron’s actions highlights the serious threat to all environmental and human rights activism if the tactics Chevron has employed are replicated by other corporate actors. A grassroots campaign has already been launched by the Sierra Club and Amazon Watch asking members of the US Senate to investigate and put a stop to Chevron‘s vilification of the environmental and human rights community.

Chevron‘s tactics to avoid responsibility for its admitted acts of environmental destruction in the Ecuadorian Amazon have been unprecedented. Despite losing a 20 year legal battle and receiving a $9.5 billion judgment against it, Chevron says it will never pay. Not satisfied with role as corporate criminal on the run, Chevron launched an extraordinary racketeering and extortion lawsuit against the Ecuadorian and U.S. attorneys, and various consultants alleging they were all lying about Chevron’s pollution and that the entire case was “sham litigation.”

Chevron‘s actions set a dangerous precedent and represent a growing and serious threat to the ability of civil society to hold corporations accountable for their misdeeds around the world. Now a wide cross-section of U.S.-based environmental and corporate governance groups have condemned Chevron‘s most recent retaliatory attacks to intimidate the Ecuadorian indigenous peoples and farmers who have been harmed by the oil giant’s massive contamination of their ancestral lands.

By Richard Smallteacher, CorpWatch Blog:

New Evidence Shows Main Chevron Witness Lied In $9.5 Billion Ecuador Lawsuit

October 26th, 2015

A key witness has admitted under oath that he lied on behalf of Chevron, the California oil multinational, when the company sued to overturn a $9.5 billion verdict for pollution of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Between 1964 and 1990, a New York company named Texaco drilled for oil in the Amazon and dumped more than 16 billion gallons of toxic waste into rivers and streams. In 1993, 47 Amazonian farmers, representing 30,000 Ecuadorian farmers and indigenous tribal peoples, sued the company in a U.S. federal court in New York.

Texaco, which was later acquired by Chevron, convinced the U.S. courts to move the case to Ecuador. Unfortunately for the company, almost two decades after the case was filed, Ecuadorian Judge Nicolas Zambrano ruled that Chevron should pay to clean up the toxic mess. Instead the company counter-sued in New York claiming that the verdict was obtained by fraud and coercion.

Last year, Lewis Kaplan, a U.S. federal judge, issued a 500 page ruling that concluded that he had found “clear and convincing evidence” that environmental activists and lawyers helped Zambrano write the verdict in return for money. Now it turns out that the opposite was true.

In his ruling Kaplan relied heavily on the testimony of Alberto Guerra, a former Ecuadorian judge, who claimed that Stephen Donziger, the lawyer for the villagers, had helped Zambrano write the verdict. Kaplan dismissed the fact that Guerra was being paid $12,000 a month by Chevron as well as being supplied with a personal lawyer and a car under the company ‘witness-protection program.’

Separately, in 2009, Chevron had brought an international arbitration case against the Ecuadorian government which is still ongoing. At an arbitration hearing in Washington DC earlier this year, Guerra retracted his statements to Kaplan, according to a 776 page transcript obtained by Vice News and Courthouse News.

“And among the ways you tried to leverage your position was to falsely tell the Chevron representatives that the Plaintiffs had offered you $300,000; isn’t that right?” asked Eric Bloom, a lawyer for the government of Ecuador.

Yes, sir. I lied there. I recognize it. I wasn’t truthful. That statement was never made by the representatives of the Plaintiffs.”

Guerra: “Sincerely, if that situation ensued, I was hoping to obtain a financial benefit of some sort myself.”

Bloom: “A bribe?”

Guerra: “It pains me to say it. I recognize it: A bribe.”

He described in detail how Chevron showed him $20,000 in cash from a safe, and offered to increase it if he could provide them with electronic proof of any collusion between Zambrano and the activists.

However, Christopher Racich, a computer forensic expert, testified to the courts that an exhaustive analysis of the verdict showed that it was written by Zambrano and resaved hundreds of times on his personal computer. By contrast, Chevron has failed to produce any evidence of a conspiracy between Zambrano and the activists even after winning lawsuits to get their personal correspondence.

“The company spent millions to concoct its cover story,” writes Paul Paz y Miño of Amazon Watch on the NGO’s website. “There was only one big problem: it all hinges upon the testimony of a completely non-credible witness who has now admitted on the stand that he lied about it in exchange for payments from Chevron.”

Chevron continues to maintain that it is not responsible for any of the pollution in Ecuador, and that Texaco had cleaned up whatever spills it was responsible for prior to the merger of the two companies. The company claims that whatever pollution remains in the rainforest was caused by Ecuador’s national oil company, Petroecuador, which took over oil production in the area after Texaco left in 1992. The Ecuadorians maintain that Texaco designed, installed, and operated all of the cost-cutting and polluting oil production facilities that were then given to Petroecuador.

Now that the company’s witness has admitted that he lied, the activists say that the U.S. Department of Justice should intervene.

Chevron and their lawyers should be investigated and brought up on charges,” says Paz y Miño. “They have intimidated judges in Ecuador, bribed others, falsified evidence, and coached Guerra to submit false testimony in U.S. Federal Court and made a complete mockery of our judicial system.”

The latest news also has major implications for a lawsuit that the Ecuadorian villagers have brought in Canada against Chevron to seize assets held by the oil company’s subsidiaries in order to enforce the Ecuadorian ruling.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that foreign judgments like the Ecuador ruling are enforceable in Canada if there is a “real and substantive connection” between the foreign jurisdiction and the subject matter of the claim.

Chevron Ecuadorean Amazon pollution court case

This video says about itself:

Amazon Jungle, Ecuador, Cuyabeno National Park

7 December 2011

Cuyabeno National Park, located deep withing the Amazon jungle of NE Ecuador, is unique in that it is an inundated jungle. Huge trees with giant winged trunks protrude from the black waters of the Laguna Grande (Grand Lagoon), home to steely-jawed piranhas. Hundreds of species of exotic birds like the Hoatzin and Russet-backed Oropendola wing overhead, while an incredible variety of primates fly through the trees or scramble across branches. Even the ground teems with activity as leaf-cutter ants tote loads ten times their size. I stayed at Cuyabeno Lodge on the Grand Lagoon, an incredible lodge that is also eco-friendly.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Texaco pollution villagers take case to Canada court

Saturday 13th December 2014

Lawyers for a group of Ecuadorian villagers asked Canada’s High Court on Thursday to grant their clients access to enforce a £6 billion Ecuadorian judgement against oil giant Chevron for rainforest damage.

Lawyers have quarrelled for several years in several countries over who’s responsible for pollution in the rain forest.

The villagers’ lawyers are arguing that the case should be heard in Canadian courts because Chevron has a Canadian subsidiary.

In February 2011, an Ecuadorian judge issued an £11.5bn judgement against Chevron in a lawsuit brought on behalf of 30,000 villagers.

It was for environmental damage caused by Texaco during its operation of an oil consortium from 1972 to 1990.

Ecuador’s highest court last year upheld the verdict but reduced the amount to about £6bn.

Chevron, which now has no assets in Ecuador, has simply shrugged off the case.

The company is being sued because it bought Texaco.

But it insists that a 1998 agreement Texaco signed with Ecuador absolves it of liability.

Chevron … argued procedurally that allowing the action to proceed would violate a principle known as the “corporate veil,” which says that subsidiaries are separate entities from their corporate parents and are not liable for actions of the parents — a convenient legal fiction which allows widespread impunity.

See also here.

Chevron Suing The Victims Of Their Own Toxic Dumping

This video is called The True Story of Chevron’s Ecuador Disaster.

From the USA. Not the first time there are Chevron issues

Chevon’s penalty for pollution in Ecuador is cut to $8.8 billion by the country’s highest court: here.

An operator, who was also a 49-year-old grandmother, was killed in an explosion early on Friday at one of Chevron’s largest oil refineries: here.

Indigenous Groups Win Right to Seize Chevron’s Canadian Assets over $18 Billion in Amazon Pollution: here.

No More Impunity! Communities Worldwide Protest ‘Gangster Corporation’ Chevron: here.

Report faults Chevron in deadly gas well fire: here.

US Republicans’ Saudi royal money

This video is called Torture of Kenyans In Saudi Arabia.

From The Nation in the USA:

Saudi-Led Oil Lobby Group Financed 2012 Dark Money Attack Ads

Lee Fang on November 29, 2012 – 5:10 PM ET

The “American” in American Petroleum Institute, the country’s largest oil lobby group, is a misnomer. As I reported for The Nation in August, the group has changed over the years, and is now led by men like Tofiq Al-Gabsani, a Saudi Arabian national who heads a Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) subsidiary, the state-run oil company that also helps finance the American Petroleum Institute. Al-Gabsani is also a registered foreign agent for the Saudi government.

New disclosures retrieved today, showing some of API’s spending over the course of last year, reveal that API used its membership dues (from the world’s largest oil companies like Chevron and Aramco) to finance several dark money groups airing attack ads in the most recent election cycle.

Last year, API gave nearly half a million to the following dark money groups running political ads against Democrats and in support of Republicans:

• $50,000 to Americans for Prosperity’s 501(c)(4) group, which ran ads against President Obama and congressional Democrats.

• $412,969 to Coalition for American Jobs’ 501(c)(6) group, a front set up by API lobbyists to air ads for industry-friendly politicians, including former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).

• $25,000 to the Sixty Plus Association’s 501(c)(4), which ran ads against congressional Democrats.

Jack Gerard, the president of API, was a close ally to the Mitt Romney campaign. Like the US Chamber of Commerce, API is one of several large trade associations that has spent heavily in support of Republican candidates.

The disclosures also show that in 2011, API spent over $68 million for public relations/advertising with the firm Edelman, $5.4 million on “coalition building” with the firm Advocates Inc, and $4 million with DDC Advocacy for “advocacy.” DDC is the firm led by Sara Fagen, the former Bush White House aide ensnared in the DOJ purges scandal. DDC now works with corporations to help them communicate with workers on how to vote.

API’s Saudi leadership is perhaps one of the most salient examples of how the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has opened the door to foreign influence.

For many years, trade associations like API courted foreign businesses to forge industry-wide lobbying coalitions. But because of a court decision in 1990 (Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce), trade associations could  participate in elections only by spinning off regulated political action committees, subject to strict disclosure and contribution limits. The foreign leadership of trade associations had a clear firewall against interfering in American elections.

Justice John Roberts and the conservative court changed that. The court’s decisions in 2007 (in a case called Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC) and 2010 (Citizens United v. FEC) to deregulate soft money allowed trade associations to behave akin to campaign committees, funneling corporate cash to attack ad and electioneering efforts—except without the disclosure requirements. That cleared the way for a substantial loophole. A foreign national cannot administer a Super PAC or candidate committee, but they can run a trade association like API that can now run candidate ads or finance third party campaign efforts. The foreign corporate money given to a trade association, from a Saudi oil firm or a French chemical company, for example, can now find its way into an attack ad. The lobbyists and companies, and perhaps many of the politicians, know where the money for the ads is coming from—but the American people have no clue.

Editorial intern Nicholas Myers assisted with the research for this post.

For more on API’s cash game, check out Lee Fang’s August report.

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Shell, Chevron pay Nigerian violent gangs

This video says about itself:

This clip “Tell the world” by Milieudefensie tries to rise awareness about Shell’s oil pollution in Nigeria. Related website is:

Original high resolution files for download are available via:

From Platform London in Britain:

Oil companies gave cash and contracts to militants and warlords in Nigeria.

Aug 26, 2012 • 10:04 pm • by ben

Shell and Chevron have funded armed militant groups in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria since at least 2003, according to oil-industry sources and US embassy cables. Both oil companies have also paid ‘protection’ money to other hostile groups for decades.

Platform’s new briefing, as reported in today’s Daily Mail, is called Fuelling the Violence: Oil Companies and Armed Militancy in Nigeria. It details how oil company payments have had a serious impact on human rights and stability in the region, where an estimated 1,000 people died annually in the conflict.[1]

The revelations follow Platform’s 2011 report, Counting the Cost, which showed how Shell’s reliance on government forces in Nigeria and its routine payments to armed militant groups had exacerbated specific cases of human rights abuse. It builds on Platform’s 2012 briefing, Dirty Work, which exposed the vast scale of Shell’s security spending and its devastating impact on human rights.

Key findings include:

A Shell manager admits giving ‘special surveillance’ contracts to militant groups in 2011, in an attempt to incorporate them into the company security arrangements. These contracts have effectively rewarded violence.

Chevron developed a close working relationship with Government Tompolo, commander of MEND, one of the main militant groups in the Delta. Chevron rented houseboats from Tompolo’s company, and routinely made calls and sent text messages to Tompolo’s army of MEND militants.

Shell and Chevron have provided funding for militant groups in the Delta. Both companies reportedly paid $300 per month to individual armed militants in Warri in 2003, enough to provide weapons and supplies for several weeks. An estimated 500 people were subsequently killed in the Warri conflict.

UK government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act suggest that despite repeated promises, Shell continued making harmful payments to pacify armed groups. In 2004, Shell inadvertently informed the Foreign Office that it had made very little progress in implementing its policies on “no cash payments” and “no ghost workers”.

These corporate practices have fuelled conflict and had a devastating impact on human rights. Leaked Shell data suggests that in 2009 alone, the company spent $75 million on ‘Other’ unexplained security expenditures – a vast infusion of cash into the Delta conflict. According to independent analysts, the distribution of cash and contracts by oil companies has contributed to “the killing and displacement of thousands of local people” in communal and ethnic conflicts.

Chevron fined $17.5 million over oil spill in Brazil: here.

Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it: here.

Chevron oil fire in California, USA

This video from the USA is called Chevron Oil Refinery Fire, in Richmond, California.

From the Sierra Club in the USA:

August 7, 2012

Sierra Club Statement on Chevron Refinery Fire

Washington, DC – Yesterday at 6:15 PT explosions and a massive fire at Chevron’s Richmond, CA, oil refinery released a plume of black smoke over the region.

Sierra Club Director, Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships Director Leslie Fields Released the Following Statement in Response:

“Yesterday residents of four California cities—Richmond, North Richmond, San Pablo and El Cerrito—were told by emergency officials to shelter-in-place, close doors and seal windows to avoid toxic smoke from the massive Chevron refinery fire. Fortunately, there were only minor injuries at the site. However, area hospitals reported at least 350 visits for respiratory problems and vomiting.

“No one should have to live downwind of a dangerous oil refinery. Our thoughts are with the families living near the Chevron facility who must now contend with the aftermath and long-term health consequences of breathing in smoke filled with dangerous particulate matter, soot and cancer-causing toxins like sulfur compounds. These explosions and the massive toxic cloud hanging over their community and homes are only a part of the pattern of operation at Chevron’s Richmond facility, and Chevron should be held to account.”

For the fourth time in the past 18 years, Chevron’s Richmond, California refinery has caught on fire, blanketing thousands of homes in toxic smoke: here.

Chevron faces heat over refinery blaze: here.

Chevron, the second largest oil and energy company in the United States, was fined $963,200 by Cal/OSHA (the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health) for state safety standard violations related to the August 6, 2012, fire at its Richmond, California, refinery: here.

Refinery fire highlights pollution concerns: here.

10 of the most dangerous chemical plants in the U.S.: here.

Chevron and the Ecuador rainforest: here,

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Nigerian feminist against Chevron pollution

This video, recorded in New York City in the USA, says about itself:

This talk was filmed at an event on March 27th, 2011 at Bluestockings, called “Independent Media, Technology, and Self-Determination Struggles in Nigeria.” Emem Okon (bio follows) of Kebetkache, a women’s organization in the Niger Delta, speaks to the role of communications technology in struggles against political corruption and oil exploitation in Nigeria. She also discusses the participation of Niger Delta women in the Indymedia Convergence in Dakar, February 2011. Introduction by Nicole Hummel from Deep Dish TV.

Ms Emem J. Okon is the founder and Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre. She is a women’s rights activist and advocate from the oil impacted Niger Delta region of Nigeria. She is a trainer, researcher and campaigner against all forms of violence directed at women and the environment. She is currently undertaking a research into impact of militarism on women in the Niger Delta, a component of the Strengthening Women’s Activism against Conflict and Militarism in the West African sub-region. She has coordinated many networks and coalitions including Gender and Constitution Reform Network (GECORN) south-south zone; National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) Rivers (2004-2010) among others.

By Antonia Juhasz, Ms. Magazine in the USA [with non-working links corrected by me, and links added, here; petrel41]:

Speaking Truth to Chevron: An Interview With Nigerian Eco-Feminist Emem Okon

Saturday, 09 June 2012 00:00

Last week, leaders of communities harmed by oil giant Chevron descended upon the company’s annual shareholder meeting in San Ramon, California to demand environmental justice and human rights. Participants from as far away as Angola, Ecuador, and Brazil joined with the True Cost of Chevron network (of which I am a part) and some 150 local protesters to decry Chevron’s abuses both around the globe and here in the U.S., from California to Texas to Washington, D.C.

One of the most prominent voices was Emem Okon, founder and executive director of Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre of Nigeria. A community organizer and women’s rights activist from the Niger Delta, Okon is leading a thriving Nigerian ecofeminist movement. She has coordinated several local women’s networks and coalitions, including Women Against Climate Change (WACC), International Network on Women and Environment, Niger Delta Women for Justice and Niger Delta Women’s Movement. I interviewed Okon shortly after the protests to learn how the women of the U.S. can emulate the women of Nigeria in standing up to one of the world’s most powerful–and dangerous–corporations.

Antonia Juhasz: Why did you travel from Nigeria to California to join the protests at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting on May 30?

Emem Okon: For well over 50 years, Chevron has been a dominant oil producer in Nigeria, both on land and offshore, generating riches that have flowed to Chevron. Chevron’s operations in the Niger Delta have economically marginalized local villagers while giving them virtually no control over their own livelihood, land or resources. The people and communities living nearest to the oil have become poorer and more dispirited, and are living shorter lives. I came to California to tell Chevron that it must listen to the women of the Niger Delta and change its operations.

How are women’s lives in the Delta impacted by Chevron and the oil industry?

Abusing the Niger Delta environment translates to abusing the women of the Delta. These women are predominantly farmers and fisher-folks. Their lives are built around the environment. Their farming includes planting and processing cassava, yam, plantain, banana, vegetables and other related produce, as well as processing palm fruits into palm oil and palm kernel. Women also get resources from the forest. Their lives and income are also intimately linked to the water, including the Atlantic ocean, the rivers, streams and creeks.

In the Niger Delta, the greatest damage to this environment is caused by the oil and gas industry. Through oil spills and gas flaring, exploration and exploitation activities have resulted in pollution of rivers, streams and creeks, making the water unsafe for aquatic life and leading to a loss of fishing income. Chevron spills oil into soil and farmlands, making them unfit for crops. Women, who are the majority of the informal [economic] sector, are negatively impacted as the oil halts their economic activities and increases their poverty.

There is also a social dimension to the impact of the extractive industry on women in the Niger Delta region. The oil politics have generated various forms of violent conflict in the Niger Delta, including communal clashes, youth armed gangsterism, chieftaincy tussle, political violence, militarism and militarization. These have subjected women to sexual violence, sexual slavery, rape and teenage pregnancy, as well as increasing child motherhood, sex work, HIV infection rates and trauma symptoms.

Gas flaring has also contributed to a high rate of maternal and child mortality [by causing] reproductive health issues such as infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths, cancers and respiratory problems.

How do the women of the Niger Delta respond to Chevron’s activities?

In the Niger Delta, women do not sit idle while such damage is done. We stand up and take action. The landmark achievement in women’s organizing was the Occupation of Chevron Oil Tank Farm in Escravos, Warri South West Local Government by Ugborodo women in July 2002. They succeeded in stopping work for 11 days, until Chevron’s management finally agreed to meet their demands. In so doing, Ugborodo women achieved in 11 days what the men could not achieve in decades. Chevron came down to talk with the women, which opened up the space for chiefs, youth leaders and government representatives to engage in the negotiation process.

How can women in the United States support your work on behalf of women in the Niger Delta?

International solidarity is key to achieving environmental justice and women’s rights in the Niger. The True Cost of Chevron network has been critical. Our greatest ally is the California-based non-profit Justice In Nigeria Now (JINN), which has led campaigns in the U.S. and mobilized other advocacy groups to support the Niger Delta women. I call on our supporters worldwide to join JINN on their website or their Facebook page.

Shell is accused of complicity in torture and killings of Nigerian environmentalists in the Kiobel vs. Shell case, which the U.S. Supreme Court will re-hear in the fall: here.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNS NIGERIAN TORTURE PRACTICES “Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men and children as young as 12 with beatings, shootings, rape, electric shocks and pliers used to pull out teeth and nails, Amnesty International charged Thursday. Most of those detained are denied access to the outside world and even to visits from family or lawyers, said the new report collated from hundreds of testimonies over 10 years.” [AP]