Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tribes Unite to Fight BP


A delegation of indigenous leaders from Ecuador visited Louisiana to share what they learned in a decades-long battle with Texaco.
Ecuador Delegation Photo by Amazon Watch
Arriving in Louisiana, the delegates prepare to speak of their experiences with their own oil crisis.
To view the video documenting the first day of their visit to the Gulf, see the link below, or click here.
Photo by Amazon Watch.
From 1964 until it pulled out in 1992, Texaco—which merged with Chevron a decade ago—dumped some 17 million gallons of crude oil and 20 billion gallons of drilling waste water into waterways and pits in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The contamination has seeped into water supplies, where it's killed fish and is blamed for health problems among local residents, who suffer from elevated rates of cancers, reproductive disorders, and respiratory ailments.

At a town hall meeting that took place July 1, in Dulac, La., the delegation discussed a report about their experiences back home. Titled "The Lasting Stain of Oil: Cautionary Tales and Lessons From the Amazon," it offers advice for holding polluters accountable and planning for long-term recovery after severe environmental contamination.

"Although BP says that it plans to take full responsibility for the damages caused by its spill and restore the Gulf Coast to the way it was before, the experience in Ecuador shows that oil companies do the right thing only when compelled to do so by a combination of political, financial, media, and community pressure," says the report, which was prepared by the Asamblea de Afectados por Texaco (Assembly of Those Affected by Texaco), along with Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch.

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