Ecuador: court rules Chevron guilty of polluting the Amazon, fines oil giant $8 billion

Mike Gaworecki of Rainforest Action Network tells BB:

An Ecuadorian court just found Chevron guilty of polluting the Amazon with over 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste. Chevron has been ordered to pay $8 billion to clean up its oil contamination and restore human rights for the 30,000 affected peoples. This is an unprecedented moment for corporate accountability. Here's the joint statement by Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch. Here's the LA Times/Reuters piece. Here's a blog post that I've just put up on RAN's Understory blog.

Photo (more here), at top: A hand covered in crude from one of the hundreds of open toxic pits Chevron (formerly Texaco) abandoned in the Ecuadorean Amazon rainforest near Lago Agrio.

Photo, below: Cofan Indigenous leader Emergildo Criollo smell the petroleum contaminated river hear his home in the Amazon rainforest. The Cofán people have suffered numerous health and environmental problems due to oil production on their lands began by Texaco (now Chevron) in the late 1960s. Now the water is polluted, crops don't grow, and new illnesses and cancer have been introduced.

(Caroline Bennett / Rainforest Action Network)