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In 2011, Amazon Watch received a mysterious package from a Chevron whistleblower. No return address, just dozens of DVDs and a note: “I hope this is useful for you in the trial against Texaco/Chevron! Signed, a friend from Chevron.”
Chevron, which bought Texaco in 2001, had just been found guilty for one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet in Ecuador’s rainforest. Ordered to pay $9.5 billion to clean up their contamination, Chevron instead fled the country and sued the communities in the U.S. for extortion.
The tapes are internal company videos documenting Chevron’s efforts to hide contamination during the trial. All were titled "pre-inspection" with dates and places of the former oil production sites where Chevron sought to plan its sampling strategy to mislead the Ecuadorian court during the judicially-supervised site inspections. Presented here is a small sampling edited for time.
After legal efforts by Chevron to keep these from seeing the light of day, here they are for the first time.
Chevron technicians are secretly surveying the company’s former oil fields and well sites it allegedly cleaned up in advance of a site visit by the presiding judge in the Ecuador trial.
They hope to find areas free of crude waste so on the day of the judicial inspection Chevron can take “clean” soil and water samples to submit to the court as evidence.
The task was harder than they had thought.
Chevron also conducted interviews with residents living on or near contaminated sites that the company claims to have cleaned up in 1998.
After 22 years of litigation, Chevron has vowed to fight the Ecuadorian indigenous and farmer communities until “hell freezes over” and then “fight it out on the ice.” Meanwhile, the affected people continue to live with the pollution and lack potable water and health care.
Don’t let Chevron get away with the environmental crime of the century.
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