Oil and Environmental Racism

July 9, 2020

Amazon Watch:

The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have catalyzed a seismic and long-overdue shift in support for the Movement for Black Lives and to defund the police. At the same time, the climate justice movement has finally begun to gain momentum because of the increasing recognition that overcoming our environmental crisis requires addressing and confronting racism. The case of Chevron’s criminal mistreatment of indigenous and rural peoples in Ecuador’s Amazon provides a perfect example of the degree of systemic racism that we must dismantle to be able to hold corporate polluters fully accountable for their illegal and unethical actions.

The overt racism exhibited by Chevron towards Amazon communities in Ecuador helps explain why it has yet to clean up the 16 billion gallons of toxic waste it deliberately dumped into the northern Ecuadorian Amazon between 1964 and 1990, home to over 30,000 indigenous and rural Ecuadorians. But the corporate criminals at Chevron are not the sole culprits. As with the institutionalized system of racism in the U.S., there is complicity within the courts, law enforcement, and in this case even the media.

The ultimate expression of this systemic racism towards the people of Ecuador is the fact that Chevron ā€“ even after admitting its environmental crimes in the Amazon ā€“ continues to ignore the Ecuadorian court ruling against the company. Our justice system was built this way. This is not the first or last time a corporate polluter will escape justice because of the political and legal influence and loyalty they have been able to buy. This judgment found Chevron had deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest, devastating indigenous communities and killing scores of people from cancers and other oil-related diseases. It has been upheld on appeal by four layers of Ecuadorian courts, including its constitutional court. Chevron has vowed never to pay the judgment even though it fought to have the case tried in Ecuador and had accepted jurisdiction there.

2 Responses to “Oil and Environmental Racism”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Everyone should carefully read every single bullet point of the highlights in yesterday’s press release by the World Meteorological Organization.

    šŸ‘‰ https://bit.ly/WMO2020-24

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