Chevron blasted for ‘Rainforest Chernobyl’ and mob-like tactics to silence critics – ‘Despite losing a 20-year legal battle and receiving a $9.5 billion judgment against it, Chevron says it will never pay’Posted by Jim at Saturday, January 25, 2014
By Katie Rucke
23 January 2014
(MintPress News) – The nonprofit organization Amazon Watch on Monday released a satirical video to draw attention to the threats Chevron has made to environmentalists, journalists, scientists and locals who have asked for the company to be held accountable for its destructive actions, and the company’s attempts to criminalize environmental protests.
Specifically, the Amazon Watch video educates viewers about the extortion-esque reactions Chevron has had to environmentalists and journalists who called out the company for dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into rivers and streams, spilling millions of gallons of crude oil, and abandoning hazardous waste in hundreds of unlined open-air pits littered throughout the Amazon region.
Although technically Texaco was the company responsible for the illegal dumping, Chevron absorbed the company in 2001, and Amazon Watch, which works to protect the Amazon rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples living in the Amazon Basin, says the company needs to be held accountable for the environmental catastrophe some have dubbed the “Rainforest Chernobyl.”
“Chevron’s tactics to avoid responsibility for its admitted acts of environmental destruction in the Ecuadorian Amazon have been unprecedented,” the group said. “Despite losing a 20-year legal battle and receiving a $9.5 billion judgment against it, Chevron says it will never pay.”
Release of the video comes after several environmental, free speech and human rights groups asked members of the U.S. Senate to investigate and stop Chevron’s “vilification of the environmental and human rights community” with its mob-like tactics.
In the description below the video, which was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Fiore, Amazon Watch wrote that the group created the video to highlight the “serious threat to all environmental and human rights activism” that can occur if Chevron and other corporations get away with acting like mobsters.”
The group teasingly wrote that since Chevron was unsatisfied with its role of being a “corporate criminal on the run,” the company decided to launch “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.’”
In an email to MintPress, Han Shan, a spokesman for the Union of Communities Affected by Texaco and a long-time human rights and environmental activist, said that “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. [more]