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News > Latin America

Rafael Correa: Amazon Oil Disaster a Crime, 'Not an Accident'

  • Rafael Correa raises a black hand caused by the Chevron oil disaster.

    Rafael Correa raises a black hand caused by the Chevron oil disaster. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 May 2015

The Ecuadorean president accused the oil giant of criminal behaviour, saying that what happened in the Amazon was no accident.

Chevron, through its sister company Texaco, deliberately caused the oil catastrophe in the Ecuadorean jungle, the Latin American country’s president, Rafael Correa claimed Thursday.

Speaking on the International Anti-Chevron Day, Correa accused the oil giant of intentionally destroying the famous biodiversity and homes of thousands of people.

“The disaster caused in the Ecuadorean forest is worse than that of Exxon Valdez in Alaska or BP in the Gulf of Mexico,” the president posted to his official Twitter account. “The worst difference is that those were accidents, what Chevron did was deliberate.”

Correa continued to encourage those who doubted that it was a crime to “put their hand in the pools left by Chevron. 25 years (after the disaster) that hand will come out black from oil.”

“Chevron: corrupt and corrupting company. We will win!” he concluded.

RELATED: Correa Warns Brad Pitt Against Participating in a 'Farce' If Pro-Chevron Film Goes Ahead

The oil exploration and exploitation operations of Texaco, a sister company to Chevron, which were carried out between 1964 and 1995 in the north of the Ecuadorean Amazon, had lethal effects on two million hectares of ground, vegetation, rivers and estuaries.

Organizers of the actions targeting the oil giant on the Anti-Chevron day seek to bring attention to the plight of tens of thousands of indigenous people in the Ecuadorean Amazon, who as a result of Chevron's contamination have been forced to take legal action to force the company to be accountable for its actions.

“We demand that Chevron stop attacking Ecuador, that Chevron cleans up its mess, and that Chevron pays what it owes,” read a communique released by organizers.

The affected communities have been facing off with Chevron in court for decades, seeking to collect US$9.5 billion in compensation for environmental damage caused by the company.
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