On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Steven Donziger about the reach of corporate power. Donziger battled corporate oil giant, Chevron, over environmental pollution and destruction in Ecuador and won a settlement of $9.5 billion for indigenous communities. Since then Chevron has waged a campaign against Donziger to try and destroy him economically, professionally and personally. He is on trial in federal court in New York on September 9 for contempt charges, which could send him to jail for six months.
GUILLAUME LONG, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador, said the last decade of the citizen revolution in his country had shown that to achieve development it was necessary to do the opposite of the prescription of the neoliberal hegemony. Ecuador had been able to recover the faith and hope of a country that had been destroyed, and that could be reflected in tangible results for its people, notably in the reduction of extreme poverty and inequality. The Powers of hegemony had appropriated widely used words and given them meaning to impose a political and moral agenda on the planet. The word “development” was not just a technical issue, but a political one, especially when it came to the redistribution of wealth. “Human rights” included economic and social rights, not just political ones, and were violated not just by States but by multinational corporations as well.
Chevron petroleum Corporation is attempting to slither out of an $8 billion judgment rendered yesterday by a trial court in Ecuador for cancer deaths, illnesses and destruction caused by its Texaco unit.
I’ve been there, in Ecuador.
I met the victims. They didn’t lose their shrimp boats; they lost their kids. Emergildo Criollo, Chief of the Cofan Natives of the Amazon, told me about his three-year-old. “He went swimming, then began vomiting blood.” Then he died.
(Latin Pulse: October 27, 2009) Thousands of people representing Ecuador’s indigenous tribes are suing Chevron-Texaco over the pools of toxic wastewater the company left behind. Following Chevron-Texaco’s 30 years of profit from indigenous lands and resources, the tribes are seeking 27.3 billion dollars from the California-based corporation for the clean-up. We talk with Joe Berlinger about his new film on the case, Crude, and with Amazon Watch about the worst environmental disaster since Chernobyl. But Chevron-Texaco is not the only problem for the indigenous communities of Ecuador; the native population is taking to the streets, demanding a seat at the negotiating table with the government in order to contest other proposed developments on their territories.