Oil giant Chevron contaminated five million cubic meters of Ecuador's countryside and they should pay the US$9.5 billion Ecuador is asking for in damages according to the South American country's Environment Minister Thursday.
The new figures reveal an approximation of the extent of environmental damage caused by Chevron subsidiary Texaco from 1964 to 1990. Environment Minister Lorena Tapia announced them in Ecuadorian daily El Telegrafo.
“We're talking about a large amount of damage,” Tapia said, most which was in the two northeastern provinces of Orellana and Sucumbios in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Ecuador is still trying to calculate damages caused by Texaco, which was absorbed by Chevron in 2001, who operated in the Amazon. Tapia explained that the country is “still trying to calculate the effects on water, air, soil as well as areas such as health.”
Chevron maintain that they should not be held accountable for Texaco's actions, and furthermore claim that previous Ecuadorian governments and the state oil company are those to blame.
Environmental organizations stand by the current Ecuadorian administration in blaming Chevron for Texaco's deliberate destruction of the environment using out of date, illegal practices.
The ChevronToxico campaign calls the environmental damage “the Amazon's Chernobyl,” saying it “continues to be, one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet.”